Manuel Antonio de la Riva

The renowned historic Jerez brand was rescued in 2017 by young winemakers Ramiro Ibáñez and Willy Pérez. The pair are reviving the history or Jerez, returning to the traditional methods of production and single-pago bottlings. The De La Riva Macharnudo Blanco faithfully reflects the style of structured white wine originally created under this brand in the past.

About Manuel Antonio de la Riva

Manuel Antonio de la Riva was a winery in the historical ‘Sherry Triangle’, founded in 1858 by the aponymous Manuel Antonio de la Riva. Located on the famous Arcos Street in Jerez, De La Riva enjoyed great success with wines sourced from Manuel’s vineyards in Pago Marcharnudo. More than a century later (after Manuel’s death), it was bought by Domecq, who added De La Riva to some of their best wines.

With the decline and devaluation of Jerez after the 1960s, Domecq slowly began eliminating brands and De La Riva ceased to exist; the brand names were sold to Beam International. Before the end of De La Riva, young winemaker Luis Pérez (who later founded Bodegas Luis Pérez) had started working as a winemaker in several of the Domecq subsidiaries (Blázquez, Florido, Hermanos y Sancho and … De La Riva!).

“The de la Riva wines are spectacular, both vinos de pastos, as unfortified whites are called, and sherries, which were fortified when they were produced by others”
Eric Asimov

Luis learned the vineyards, practices and wines of the De La Riva brands just before they were deleted. With the historical knowledge of Luis to guide them, next generation winemakers Willy Pérez (son of Luis) and Ramiro Ibáñez decided to recuperate the brand and its historical wines before they became entirely forgotten. Willy and Ramiro bought back the rights to the De La Riva brands in 2017, and have since negotiated access to some of the famous plots from which they were sourced (and which had since become anonymous fruit sources for un-aspirational Sherries), in Balbaina Alta, and particularly Macharnudo.

Willy Pérez is also the winemaker at his family’s bodega: Bodega Luis Pérez. Much like the efforts at Manuel Antonio de la Riva, this project is similarly driven by returning to the traditional methods of production and single-pago bottlings. Check out the Bodegas Luis Pérez wines here.

The heart of the project is recuperating the M Antonio de la Riva Palomino Blanco. Historically, this came from a tiny plot, ‘el Notario’, within the parcela (single vineyard) ‘el Majuelo’, itself within Pago Macharnudo. From this great site, Willy and Ramiro have recuperated De La Riva Blanco, a Palomino enhanced by asoleo then aged on slight ullage as a Palomino de Flor. This project resuscitates an important wine, and is one of several wines currently rebirthing a historical style of Jerezano wine: vino de pasto.

These were the vinos cotidianos (daily drinking wines) of old, particularly common in the winebars of Cádiz: short-aged, lower alcohol variants of the Fino style. This is a specific vintage, statically-aged, barrelspecific en rama bottling: all historical practises, all currently being brought back into daily life in el Marco. As well as this historical wine, Ramiro and Willy also include in the De La Riva family a handful of kindred spirit wines united by their specificity: rareness and expression of place, as well as a certain pre-tech approach to growing and making. These other expressions include: the blanco’s big sister natural alcohol De La Riva Fino from Pago Balbaina Alta; a Manzanilla from Pago Miraflores Baja; and a Manzanilla Pasada grown in Pago Balbaína Alta. There are also one-off almacenista bottlings which include an extremely rare of Oloroso Viejísimo from Pago Balbaina Baja (Puerto), a Moscatel Viejísimo from Pago Loma Baja (Chipiona), and a PX Viejísimo from Pago Macharnudo.

In the Vineyard

Grapes for this wine come from the famous El Notario vineyard in the north of Macharnudo Alto. The area is at 115 metres above sea level and 18 kilometers from the coast. The soils are Tosca cerrada with a high level of diatomaceous fossils promoting great freshness/ The site has chalky layered albariza soils with a relatively high clay content, vine roots are able to penetrate the planes of the soils which helps them survive the hot, dry summers.

The vineyard is managed using organic practices and with particular respect for the soils and flora.

In the Winery

Harvest is done by hand commencing in the middle of September; over the course of two months, numerous passes are made through the vineyard selecting individual bunches when ripe.

The grapes are dried in the sun for 8 hours after picking which raises the potential alcohol by 1-2 degrees. The fruit is pressed as whole bunches – only half of the juice is taken. The juice then ferments with indigenous yeasts in 600 litre botas at an ambient temperature. A layer of flor is allowed to develop, and the wine matures for 10 months under this veil. Wines are bottled without fining or filtration.

Only 400 bottles are produced each year.

Where in the World is Manuel Antonio de la Riva?

Manuel Antonio de la Riva is located in Andalucia, in the Jerez-Xérès-Sherry region.

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This isn't your grandmother's Sherry. Made in the style of bygone regional traditions, the De La Riva Vino de Pasto is an non-fortified aromatic table wine made with Palomino from the El Notario plot in pago Macharnudo. It ages under flor for 10 months, which gives distinctive Fino notes: brine, bruised apples and a mineral tang. Despite Palomino's naturally low acidity the wine vibrant and juicy on the tongue, which complements the textural nature of the palate and its savoury flavour profil
$167ea in any 3+
$162ea in any 6+
The first iteration of this wine I drank was the 2018, a seriously impressive wine. It wasn't your grandmother's Sherry and nor is the 2021. Made in the style of bygone regional traditions, the De La Riva Vino de Pasto is a non-fortified aromatic table wine made with Palomino from the El Notario plot in pago Macharnudo. It's personality is influenced by a period of time in lightly ullaged barrel under flor Luis Guitiérrez comments that from 2019 Willy and Ramiro have tried to reduce the e
$278ea in any 3+
$268ea in any 6+