Our own vineyard in Gumiel de Mercado consists of around 25 hectares at an altitude of 910 metres and is situated in the north east area of the Ribera del Duero. Here we aim to produce grapes of the highest quality to produce wines of the highest quality.
Our philosophy is to grow grapes which reflect the full character of the Terroir and which are unique and unaffected by artificial additives. We are constantly striving for improvements in cultivation and learning from the natural environment.
The vineyard rests on very complex and varied land where, following a comprehensive survey of the soil we identified up to 16 different soil types. We find sand and calcareous limestone together with clay and it is the levels of clay which give us the promise of large grapes and strong vines.
Our vines are of the Tinto Fino varietal (the Tempranillo of the Ribera del Duero) with different clones from the Ribera del Duero recognised by the ITACyL , like our own selection. This is all done with the objective of improving the diversity within the vineyard, with a density of 3600 plants to produce grapes limited to 3500 kg/ha.
Our cultivation is ecological and based on simplicity and rationality- maintaining balanced pruning, using a inter-vine hoe, using natural organic mulch and fertilising with manure from the sheep which graze around the vines. We use horse drawn implements and limit the use of machinery to avoid compacting the soil. Our aim is to improve the biology of the soil for the greater well- being of the vines and, consequently, for the greater character of the grapes.
The ultimate goal is to obtain grapes and wines which have all the identity, character, soul and depth of the great Ribera del Duero – plus, something more.
Innovation in the vineyard
Knowledge about our vineyard is our greatest tool when it comes to making decisions. In vines and wines a small difference can be very big.
For this reason, we have a multitude of tools and types of innovation:
We use a lot of maps and precision instruments for the plot of land, to determine the soils, the variable strengths of the stem and the distribution of the Tinto Fino plants on the land, the topography etc.
Thanks to our weather station, we can get instant information about our estate, make comparisons in weather conditions, improve our knowledge of the vineyard and collect data throughout the whole year.
We have a multidisciplinary project team of experts in different areas who help us and improve our knowledge of the vineyard and our vision.
Francisco Lafuente: Chemist , Professor University of Valladolid
Alfonso Maté Aparicio: Geologist
David Maté del Rincón: Physicist
Cronos S.C (Javier Jiménez y Carmen Alonso) Archaeologists
Pedro Pablo Rico Esteban: Agricultural Consultant
Alfred Ferrís: Ecological Horticulturist and expert in the use of horse drawn equipment and farming methods
Jaime Olaizola Suarez: Doctor of Engineering in the area of mountains and mycology
Eric Narro Benot. Biologist and Oenologist
We visit the fields together with this team of colleagues, debating each question from many points of view, obtaining a detailed picture of the vineyard which is invaluable.
Thanks to them, we know the minutiae of the age and origin of our soil and the existence of a mediaeval settlement on our plot.
In 2013, we obtained a plot of virgin land which had never been cultivated (known, in this area, as “perdida” meaning “lost” or “waste” land). Our idea was that vines grown on this land which had been previously wooded, with plants and animals and that had never been in contact with modern agricultural methods, would produce grapes and wine that was radically different and unique.
Owing to the lie of the land, it is impossible to use machinery, meaning that all work is done by hand or with horse power.
The Biodynamic Project
Since 2012, we have been collaborating with the University of Bordeaux Segalen, the Institute of the Science of Vines and Wine in Bordeaux Aquitaine and the Faculty of Oenology, together with the biologist and oenologist, Eric Narro Benot. We started the planting and the study of biodynamic viticulture, comparing it with the ecology to give a scientific viewpoint.
The basic principles of the study are:
∙ To work , treating the vine as the greatest “tool” at our disposal.
∙ To plan farming methods which suit are own needs.
∙ To study our vineyard in great detail in order to respond effectively and as rapidly as possible.
∙ To understand other ways of working which we know that modern viticultural practices have forgotten.
The objective is to know which is the vine best suited to our soils and, then, to be able to improve it, maintaining a balance with the micro-organisms, fungi, bacteria, viruses and living organisms.
Native Plants and Microscopic animals
Since 2001, we have been working on the identification and evolution of the vegetation and microscopic animals both inside and outside our vineyards to understand how the soils have evolved.
The reason for this is to know how our soil is at the level of compaction, its health, structure and composition and to identify the plants and animals and living organisms which indicate the true condition of the soil.