Ildum Vinarius…A Visit to Castellon´s Newest Bodega!

New Bodega in Cabanes

New Bodega in Cabanes

Off to a great start, if a hot one! Yesterday saw the opening of Castellon´s newest bodega, Ildum Vinarius, in the historic little town of Cabanes, not far from the epicentre of winemaking in the province, Vilafames, Les Useres and Benlloch. The temperature in the bodega must have reached almost record levels as almost the whole town descended on the small, backstreet converted property which now contains the three level installation.

Victor Bellmunt and his wife come from a long line of viticultors who have sold their grapes asd members of L´Alcalaten in Les Useres but, faced with dropping returns,  have turned `bodegueros´ from `cosechero´ status literally harvesters turned winemakers.

Both have inherited parcels of grapes in the Les Useres, Vilafames and  La Barona area and around Cabanes itself, in total around 10 hectares . Although production into the future will depend on success in the shoerter timescale they have the capacity to make around 60,000 bottles in the future.

Wines for the Opening!

Wines for the Opening!

They have Macabeo, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Tempranillo, Garnacha and Syrah to make wine with and this began the day before yesterday with the harvesting of the Pinot Noir to make their first offering……a Rosado espumoso is planned! A thousand litres were quietly fermenting away in a small deposit as the invitees ate their way through plates of home made bread with tomato, tortillas, cocas and empanadas, sausages and jamons!

Down in the somewhat cooler cellar three barrels contained a red and bottles of wines for the opening were stored. A lift connects this area with the bodega and offices above, making movement of the wines easier.

Victor had clearly been planning for this occasion and has been under the supervision of Tofol and Carmina of Bodegas Divinos yviñas  whose own wines from Segorbe are a marker for quality in the Province. He has been using their facilities to produce a white espumoso from Chardonnay and Macabeo; a Rosat Brut espumoso from Bonicaire which Victor believes produces similar results to Trepat; a white wine from Macabeo and a red from Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

In the Cellar.

In the Cellar.

Of the four, the Macabeo stood out with ripe fresh fruit and hints of almonds in the finish, the rosat brut is a serious fresh cava style espumoso full of fruit and with a big body and good acidity which would be perfect with a paella or a fideuà and the red was gutsy, fruity and rustic, perfect for something with big flavours such as pizza or arroz al horno.

Not that these wines are for sale, they were for the opening and samples but they demonstrated a clear intention that the bodega will aim to make good wines from this year in the new facility!



Victor is hoping to make two espumosos, a white and two reds in the first year and to buy equipment as he goes along and finance permits. Nor is he without support, Vicente Flors from Bodegas Flors and Tofol and Carmina were all at the opening and Juan Domingo  from Mas de Rander was expected later. With advice and help from winemakers of this quality on hand and the goodwill of all Victor will undoubtedly make his first year count and we are all looking forward to Rosado next summer and then further wines appearing at fairs into the future. There may be nothing to comment on at the moment but there surely will be lots of references to the wines from this bodega in years to come!

Victor Bellmunt.

Victor Bellmunt.

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