Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Winery: Dominio de Valdepusa in Toledo

We just visited The Dominio de Valdepusa Winery in Toledo Province and were really impressed! The vineyards is where the focus is...these are some of the most high tech vineyards I ever seen! They have sensors that detect every miniscule movement and change in the vine….years of analysing this data allows them to know with precision the exact water needs of their vines. They believed that it is very difficult to get good phenolic ripeness without over-ripe fruit and too low acid levels in hot viticultural areas. Their careful use of technology actually allows them to get a perfectly ripe grapes with good acid levels…this gives top quality, intense, yet fresh wines that age well.

The real work is in the vineyards, the winery itself is small and fairly simple. Everythign is small: fermentation area, barrel room, storage and a bottling area. The philosophy is to preserve the natural habitat as much as possible, so the winery is contained in low buildings that are invisible as you approach the historical main building. The main building houses the tasting and eating areas and is both elegant and rustic! The winery is surrounded by a beautiful garden where aromatic plants such as rosemary and lavender dominate.

The winery really has a unique philosophy that they have worked very hard to realize. The visit ended with a tasting of their whole range of wines. I'll rate them in a second article…they were very impressive! See below for more information on the Dominio de Valdepusa.

The winery is not open to visits, but we are fortunately being allowed to bring a small group there on 21 July. We will visit the vineyards, the winery and the olive oil production facility. Then we will taste the whole range of wines and have a wonderful gourmet lunch in the winery. If you might be interested check our website: http://www.planteavino.net/ for more information on the trip. Click on Upcoming Events.

Carlos Falcó, Marques de Griñon gained fame as one of the pioneers in modern wine-making in Spain. He and his famous family also figure prominently in the gossip press here in Spain.
The Dominio de Valdepusa is the Vino de Pago created by the Marques de Griñon near Toledo in 2002. Under this name the Marques had created a unique range of wines considered to be among the best in Spain. These are benchmark wines, among the first to change the reputation for La Mancha wines, proving that world class wines can be made in the area.
Vines have been planted on the family estate for over 25 years and the estate has been in the family since the year 1292!

The primary wine consultant is Michel Rolland, a famous and controversial figure in the wine world, making some of France's most famous wines!
The vineyard consultant was Richard Smart, the Australian famous for his pioneering theories of canopy management. The estate was one of the first in Spain to use advanced trellising system and deficit drip irrigation technologies.

A Vino de Pago is an estate wine that is given a special status under Spanish wine law….Dominio de Valdepusa was the first estate so designated in Spain. They have been pioneers in many other ways: the first vineyard with drip irrigation in Spain, the first experiments in Spain with partial root drying, the first 100% Petit Verdot wine in the world etc.

The winery also makes some of the finest olive oil in Spain under the name of Marques de Griñon. It is a coupage of three olives: 60% Arbequina (gives cut grass notes), 38% Picual (gives high concentration of ployphenols for length and body), and 2% Manzanilla (gives green tomato notes).
It's a wonderful, peppery, complex oil!

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