A Visit to Bodega La Casa de las Vides, Agullent.


La Casa de las Vides

 

Early June, the sun is streaming down and now with some real strength and time to go visiting vineyards again!

La Casa de las Vides is a new winery sat alongside a farmhouse dating back to 1700 with its original bodega intact. Near to the  town of Agullent, close to Ontinyent the bodega occupies a site of about 35 hectares , surrounded by the three fincas which make up the property with views up the Val d´Albaida named so by the moors for its white soils, in one of the best wine growing areas of DO Valencia´s Clariano sub-zone.

Originally a collaboration between three or four families who grew grapes and cereals today the bodega belongs to the family of Francisco Gandia and is still a mixed operation, producing apricots which are sold all over Spain as well as wine.

Entrance to the 1700 Bodega.

 

The bodega used to sell its entire production to others but gradually the family began to notice the quality of their product and from 2005 decided to produce their own quality wines. Some of the production is still sold on but the small quantity of wines produced  are readily finding a market.

The bodega sits at about 400m above sea level in an area where the temperatures are regularly four to five degrees warmer than most of the Valencian region. As a result picking of the white varieties begins as early as the last week of July with the reds following on a week or so later. The grapes already have sufficient maturity and later picking would risk over maturity.

 

Inside the 2005 Bodega.

The vineyards contain Verdil, Sauvignon Blanc, Gewürztraminer and Macabeo and all four were included in the first vintage of the white Vallblanca I had tasted last year at the Valencia winefair. The current vintage (2011) a fresh and fruity wine with a wonderful floral and aromatic bouquet  and balancing acidity is simply made from the Verdil and Gewürztraminer and sold in a distinct blue germanic style bottle with its pierced label.

The visit commences with a viewing of the old bodega its deposits and a collection of old wines from all over Spain, before moving into the current wine-producing facility. Despite the age of the original property the new bodega is all stainless steel, where the grapes are chilled on entry and pumped to deposits ( red varieties ) whole or direct to the press for the whites. The harvest always takes place at night because of the heat in the vineyards during the day. Depending on the wine to be made the reds undergo alcoholic fermentation in these deposits and are then pressed before pumping on to either another deposit or barrica to undergo malolactic fermentation.

 

Some of the Bodega´s Wines.

The bodega also produces Rosae, ( from Latin and based on the areas local history ) a rosado from Cabernet Sauvignon  and Garnacha. Two vintages are currently available, 2010 and 2011 and are quite different in both colour and fruit flavours, both are refreshing and well worth a try!

The vineyards consist of parcels of red varieties which include Merlot, Garnacha , Monastrell, Petit Verdot, Syrah, Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon and each plays a part in the tintos produced.

The joven is called ABC a 14% abv blend of Tempranillo, Petit Verdot (  30% each ) and Garnacha and Merlot ( 20% each) and is fresh, aromatic and with typically mediterranean fruit flavours.

Cup de Cup is a crianza with six months in French and American oak. Originally called Cvp, another reference to the Roman past, and sold in a tall Bordeaux style bottle, it is now sold in a burgundy style bottle with a distinct purple lable. The change of bottle dictated the change of label and this change came about  because restaurants complained they could not get the old bottle in their chiller cabinets! The 2010 is a blend of 40% Tempranillo, 40% Syrah and 20% Garnacha ( also 14%abv). This wine is very dark cherry, with long legs and on the nose mature black fruits. In the mouth the fruit and the oak have integrated perfectly, a warm, sunny full wine which is easy to drink.

Top red is the Aculius, a blend of Tempranillo, Syrah and Merlot, with a year in oak and a year in bottle before release. The wine takes its name from the Roman general who conquered the area and gave his name to the nearby town of Agullent. Following three weeks maceration and fermentation the wine passes to barrica for the malolactic fermentation. A deep cherry red, on the nose smoky notes, spices such as nutmeg and clove mix with mature fruit, and in the mouth the wine is silky, very full and with a long finish. This is a wine for food.

 

Aculius, top wine and an award!

Cleverly the bodega has been blended into the family house with a shop downstairs where the wines can be purchased. They are also available from El Corte Ingles.

The bodega and surroundings make for an excellent visit with its blend of history and vanguard technology, the old and new stitched together seamlessly, but principally because this artisan producer is making excellent wines, winning awards already and  which deserve to be better known!

 

 

 

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Comments

  • Peder Hermansen  On June 2, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    Dear Ricardo

    Thanks for a great tour at the Bodega.. It makes we want to contact them and get their export prices, as it could be interresting to have in my portofolia of Valencian Wine.

    Regards Peder Wineimporter from Denmark

    • rikiwigley  On June 2, 2012 at 6:25 pm

      Many thanks Peder.

      Please do contact them, if you import Valencian wines you will not be disappointed by these! If I can help you with introductions to bodegas please do not hesitate to ask, Riki.( Ricardo)

      • Peder Hermansen  On June 2, 2012 at 8:53 pm

        Hi Ricardo

        Thanks for your quick reply:)
        Yes I do import Valencian wine, and sell a lot from Bodegas Arraèz and from Ecologico Oleana. The Malavida and Eduardo Bermejo wines are very popular in Denmark. But I also look for some wine in Another style, but with the same balance as Toni Arraéz has in his Wine. I have tasted serveral, which i found very unharmonous, like Daniel Belda! – But if you can recommend me some, which also have some good exportprices:).

        I have found a great site called http://www.alforins.com . They have a big selection of Valencian wine, but its hard to know ,whom to contact.

        Regards Peder

        YOu can see more on my website calle http://www.vin-laden.dk

      • rikiwigley  On June 2, 2012 at 10:07 pm

        Hi Peder. I will contact you by email direct. Riki

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