Thriving to be a sustainable and lively ecosystem with every decision they make
Wednesday 08 December 2021
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A 100% sustainable winery, Bodegas Santerra is a true reflection of its founders’ passion for preserving natural resources, protecting wildlife and reducing pollution generated by human activity. The winery was created in 2019, with a mission to enhance the inland vineyards of Levante.
“We concentrate our work in two regions, inland Alicante (Villena town) and inland Valencia (Requena),” says winemaker Víctor Marqués. “People normally come to the Levante region searching for sun and the beach, but if you drive 50km you can discover a dramatic landscape of mountains, plateaus and valleys, which permits this rich, full combination of Mediterranean climate with continental influences.
“In this village, people have been in touch with agriculture and especially with viticulture for more than 3000 years. The economy is based on it and it’s usual to have everyone involved in ‘La Vendimia’ and other seasonal wine-based work. Even the big city migrants (to Valencia, Madrid and Alicante) return and help their families harvesting during weekends.”
Winemaking at Santerra is based on the principle of minimum intervention; everything is done to enhance the natural potential of the grapes; to express a region, a terroir. The winery uses tradition ‘pie de cubas’ fermentation (in which the ripest grapes are picked ahead of the main harvest, and used to create a speedy initial fermentation in the vat) minimum sulphite dosage and a small percentage of whole-cluster maceration.
“We like to express the authenticity of our varietals, and keep the primary aromas lively,” continues Víctor. “We grow mainly our local grapes Monastrell and Bobal, but we also grow white Malvasia and Merseguera, and Reds such as Merlot and Garnacha. The vineyards themselves are mostly old vines, largely planted using the gobelet system. We’re in a process of transforming from intensive culture to organic, with some biodynamic techniques. We want to have a sustainable and lively ecosystem with every decision we make, and total respect to flora and fauna. We want our vines to run marathons not to compete in weightlifting!”
Monastrell - the wine of kings and queens
“Guitarra Dorada Monastrell 2020 is our interpretation and tribute to the ‘Fondillón,’ one of only five wines in the world with its own name. It is considered the wine of kings, having been popular in the courts of Louis XIV, Queen Elizabeth I and with Shakespeare himself.
“Our Monastrell comes from late-harvested old Monastrell vine raisins, harvested by hand and gently pressed to give a concentrated elixir of must. Natural fermentation ends with some residual sugar (8g/L). It’s then aged for 3 months in old French oak barrels to complete the process. The finished wine is pale red, with high intensity aroma, displaying a very ripe fruit over a toasted oak base of great elegance. Meaty, complex and unctuous, with balanced tannins and a toffee finish.”
“This kind of elaboration is traditional in this region, more even than in Valpolicella with Amarone. The ‘RiuRau’ are the traditional dryer constructions typical of South Valencia and north Alicante, and one of the most famous wines was Fondillon (exclusive from DOP Alicante), made from over-ripened Monastrell.”
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