Fermented Inside Of The Grape
Surprise your guests with this curious drawing of red which are used whole clusters, as they reach the winery, not de-stemmed.
To produce this wine, the grape bunches are carefully placed in a double-walled steel tank, with a small amout of grape juice. Then, the tank is laid down. The grape juice produces a light natural carbonic maceration, that ferments the grape from their inside.
Once the fermentation process is finished, the tank is bleed to remove the grape juice and the juice from any grape that may have been broken by its own weight during the fermentation. The grapes that are still whole are then taken out, pressed, and bottled right away. The result is a young and vibrant wine, with a surprising taste that reminds to the grape juice and that is similar to no other wine in the market.
The idea to make this wine comes from the fact that one of the Castelló siblings has sulphite intolerance, which is not good for a wine lover, as sulphites are needed to preserve the wine. However, fermenting the wine inside of the grape and then botling it straight away, allow Viña Alondra to produce a wine that requires a very low amount of sulphites to be preserved. Very easy to drink and enjoyable, this wine is a persona favourite of Las Delicias staff.
Spanish Wines Tradition and the DOP
Spain has a great winemaking tradition that has been fixed by the DOP (Protected Origin Denomination). The best Spanish foods and drinks hold their DOP label. You would probably know already ‘Manchego’ for cheese, or ‘Rioja’ and ‘Ribera del Duero’ for wines.
To hold the DOP label, a product needs to meet the requirements and quality standars stablishes, but it also means that producers need to stick to the traditional ways to produce their product. While this is usually a good thing, it also penalizes creativity, and it only exists for some areas, while others are left aside without any DOP
Viña Alondra Winemakers
Spanish winemakers Viña Alondra (the Castelló siblings) run a wineyard that has belonged to their family for generations. They control the whole process, from the vine´s soil to the bottle and beyond. They also care about what they do, and how their work affects to their environment.
This is why they decided to grow their grapes with an eco-friendly approach. For example, they found that rabbits can keep moles under control, and a couple of prey birds can handle up to 3,000 mices per month, so instead of using pesticides, they are sheltering some wild animals to work on their side. They also found that mould does not grow on the vines if the leaves are a bit dry, so they only need to drive their tractor from time to time to produce dust, so they don’t need to spray chemicals over the plants.
Making The Most Of Disadvantage
On this picture you can see one of the few ungrafted vines that are left in Europe, because of the Grape Phyllosxera, a bug that almost killed every vine in the whole European contient. To prevent the spread of the Phyllosxera, all vines need to be grafted, but in Avila, where the Castelló siblings have their farm, the soil is very sandy and the bug can´t make its way throug it, allowing them to preserve some old, ungrafted Tempranillo vines.
Other characteristic of Avila is to be a very dry land. For winemakers, sandy soild and dry weather means a low production per square meter. But for Viña Alondra winemakers it became an opportunity to do things differently.
For example, it means that they can offer a wine that is a closer experience to the wine that their elders enjoyed, with grapes that no longer exists in other locations. And it means they could use less sulphites to preserve their wine.
Not having a DOP certification is also a disadvantage, but it allows them to play and try new winemaking ways.
And this is what they are doing.
The grapes come from organic farming (the farm got registered as organic on 2019, meaning their first certified organic wine will come out two years later) and have been hand-harvested by the family, their friends, and even the village children come to help and have fun while learning the harvesting.
Then, the grapes are selected for their destination. From a small production they get a wide variety of exellent author wines, each one different and unique on their own way. In Scotland, this wine is exclusively distributed by Las Delicias.
Las Delicias Ltd. only sells alcohol in-store, and only to persons over the age of 18.