From Soil to Bottle (Process).
The wine made on the vine
The best grape comes from the very best soil with its finely balanced texture and structure that is blessed with a favourable climate based on warm days and cold nights. This wonderful land nourishes 60-year-old vines that produce smooth, full-bodied wines with a delicate aroma and a complex, sweeping palate combined with its vivid, intense and constant colours mirroring the life of the vines that make the wines as noble as their origin.
It is important to highlight our invaluable and firmly engaged team who has drawn its expertise from the legacy of over eight generations and pours all its love and care into each vine, each spur, each bud and always chooses the best option to get the best bunch, seeking quality, not quantity.
Our team needs to know the soil and its finely balanced nutrients in depth as these are fundamental factors in the growing, performance and appropriate ripening of the grapes.
The grape that produces the best wine grows with light and soil, but it’s man’s work that brings it to life. This is how Pablo Neruda described it in one of his poems and this is what happens in La Rioja’s vineyards.
Our Work. With utmost care.
From the happy symbiosis between the “feet” that root the most renowned varieties to the ideally balanced soils, to the most suitable waters and the most beneficial suns and temperatures, comes the wonderful balance between the plant, the wood gathered and the fruit produced.
The vines must be pruned during the winter months, leaving at least three arms per trunk, two spurs on each arm and two buds on each spur.
From the strictly controlled pruning, the shoots already trained, from those vigorous shoots with a delicate study of foliage for its optimum stripping, we grow medium-sized clusters of small grapes, adjusting their weight in each acre to the Rioja Qualified Designation of Origin (DOCa, Denominación de Origen Qualificada) regulations and, on most occasions, the grapes fall below this strict limit naturally.
Our wise pruning and attentive care make this possible. This will lead to the shoots that, with no concessions to excess, always below 6,500 kg per 2.5 acres for red varieties and 9,000 kg for white varieties, as set by the Regulatory Board of the Rioja DOCa, will turn into fruit that encompass a universe of fragrances and aromas, flavours and nuances, multi-hue colours that make the wines of this land one of the best worldwide.
The physical-chemical process of the photosynthesis is essential to help the leaf surface –this is why the leaf removal or stripping is so important– absorb the sunrays to produce grapes with the exact amount of sugar that will then turn into alcohol during the fermentation.
The grape harvesting is only done by hand choosing the best time, never on very hot days but rather on dry days with no dew, at dawn, picking the ripe and healthy clusters and taking them quickly and carefully to the winery to be stemmed when required and then put into the fermenting tank. If the variety requires it, we carry out mechanical harvesting at night.
Sorting And Stemming. Key processes to ensure top quality.
The fruit must be kept whole all the way to the grape sorting table where we remove plant debris as well as anything else that may compromise the end quality.
A perfect stemming is essential to separate the cluster from the grape. It requires gentle and thorough handling to keep the grape whole as it must remain whole until it is put into the fermenting tank to prevent uncontrolled fermentation before it begins its process.
The quality of our wines is the result of the strictest control of the fruit on the vine and in the winemaking.
The Winemaking. Where science is pure magic.
Experimental sciences work together in harmony to provide, in only a few days, a marvellous wine due to the complex biochemical evolution, turning the sugars into a high alcohol content, drawing out the aroma and colours from the skin. A blend of alcohols that will give life and age this sensory miracle of nature that is wine, that someone rightly defined as something that is more than mineral and just short of life.
The natural yeasts from the soil and the vine itself, with the right temperature and time, will trigger the transformation into a first alcoholic, tumultuous fermentation and another calmer fermentation (the malolactic fermentation) that will consume all the sugars. The stainless steel tanks used for the fermentation meet the strictest hygiene standards and allow us to control the temperature and prevent microbiological accidents. The punchdown, rack-and-return (délestage) and pumping up will stir the must over the cap formed by the skins, to draw out all the best properties of the grape skin that holds the most noble and distinguishing attributes.
These attributes will go into the must as it turns into wine: the polyphenols, aromas and colours and, in a few days, the lactic acid bacteria will take over from the natural yeasts: this first wine continues a slow malolactic fermentation process that can round off, polish and smooth down the hues and tastes in the new-born wine and prepare it for its ageing where its brings out its best virtues in oak barrels through slow oxidation, stillness and silence with regular racking to filter the lees, and clarifying the wine to finally be poured into the bottle at its best.
The Ageing. Environmental Conditions.
The warehouse that hosts the barrels is naturally isolated against heat or cold and noise to help the wine sleep, far away from any disturbances and light, and keeping the temperature and humidity within the optimum range and with minimal variations.
Optimum range: Temperature 13º – 15º C Humidity 70% – 75%
This second phase of the winemaking, regulated by overseeing the analytical data and fundamentally sensory data (tasting), with the appropriate racking and sufficient airing, swiftly develops the full aromatic potential of the wine. After the appropriate racking and a gentle clarification, the wine is left to sleep in its bottle.
With this second phase, the parameters for ph, aroma, colour, taste, alcohol content, dry extract, etc. reach their best levels and their potential is enhanced.
But of course, to achieve the best values, we have to start with the best grape, finely balanced soil, old vines with limited production and good or excellent vintages.
Bottle Graveyard. Our wines thrive with rest.
Our graveyard, where the souls of our wines sleep, will give them life, a long life, away from the light and noise. Under strict monitoring of the temperature and humidity, the best attributes of our wines will spring out when you uncork the bottle.