Rebellious flavours at Ribera del Duero

At the Kirios de Adrada winery, Jesús Lázaro and Maite Perera have been producing organic wine for more than a decade now. Committed to the conservation of native grape varieties, they take care of their vineyards in a sustainable and environment fr
The couple runs a small business. «I have been working in organic farming since 1995», Jesús explains. «Along with my wife, in 2001 we set up this small winery where we produce organic wine». The wineyards from which the Ácrata wine is born are located south of the Burgos province, in the acclaimed Ribera del Duero area. 8 hectars of young grapevines are located in the village of Adrada de Haza, over chalky and pebbly lands with a deep soil. On the other hand, the grapevines that belong to the 11 hectars distributed among Pardilla, Fuentenebro and Moradillo de Roa are almost one century old, and nurtured by siliceous and deep soils. No chemical products are employed during all the process of preparing the wine. To take care of the vineyards, Jesús and Maite only use plant compounds. Green manure and dung nourish the soil when it is necessary, and weeds are not combatted with pesticides, but by the use of hoe and light equipment. When treatment cannot be avoided, biodinamic preparations are employed to spray the grapevines, as the 500 or the dung preparations. To sum up, the philosophy which is behing the Acrata wine relies on the idea that the best way to avoid plagues and deseases is to take care of the harmony with the environment. But there is still more. «We are trying to rescue all those grape varieties that have been marginalised here at the Ribera because of trade issues, and that were on the brink of extinction», claims Jesús. «Among them we have albillo and pirulés, both of them native varieties, or garnacha. We also prepare tempranillo wine, all of this following organic and biodinamic methods. In some of the lands that could not be ploughed in another way, we use animal force». As said before, some of the grapevines are very old and of a great historical value. Those 100 year old plants grow on slopes, and in a very narrow plantation framework, as there were traditionally. For this reason, mechanization is not easy, and many of these vineyards were abandoned. Neverthless, Jesús and Maite not only stuck with them, but recovered and took care of them, without forcing production and employing, when it was necessary to plough, animal force. Working with horses, mules and donkeys presents various advantages, being not only more sustainable but contributing also to the fertility of the soil. With their own and particular way of considering wine, the couple turns all their efforts to the care of the grapevines, in order to make the manufacture process in the winery as simple as possible. As a result, the flavour or their wine -which was the first one within the Ribera del Duero Designation of Origin to be certified as organic- resembles very much the grape. After being collected, the selection of those is done in the very wineyard. In small boxes, the same day they are transported to the winery. There, the fermentation of the grape juice takes place thanks to the native yeasts contained in the grape. Wine is neither filtered nor clarified, and, once in the bottle, it rests for at least 6 months. During all this time, it is preserved in small traditional cellars, buildt under the ground level. Bio-construction by natural materials as limestone and would grants that the resulting environment is completely protected against any toxic substance. Also the wood of which the barrels are made of is treated with organic products to avoid any smell to impregnate the wine. Temperature is kept stable and adecuate as well in summer as in winter by means of the thick cork filled stonewalls, which provide natural isolation, and of the north-south orientation.
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