Someone made his mark (Bodegas Vinas del Cenit, Spain)



tempranillo sandy soil Bodegas Vinas del Cenit, DO Tierra del Vin de Zamora spain castile and leon

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Bodegas Vinas del Cenit, Tierra del Vino de Zamora, Castilla y Leon, Spain, stock photography samples, by Per Karlsson, BKWine --- This is a selection of samples. Use Image SEARCH to find more relevant photos --- Bodegas Vinas del Cenit is a winery located near the small town Villanueva de Campean in the Tierra del Vino (Denominacion de Origen Tierra del Vino de Zamora) region in north western Spain. It is near the Duero river and near the DO Toro. The winery itself is an isolated building, almost warehouse-looking, on a small hill at the end of a dirt road.

The main grape variety grown in the vineyards is tempranillo (also called tinta de toro). There is also some muscatel and malvasia. The vineyards are on a variety of different soil types, including calcareous sand stone and sand. Vines are spaced wide, the climate is hot and dry and water is scarce, and yields are very low. Most vines are trained (pruned) in the gobelet (bush vine) free standing system, without supporting wires. There are even some ungrafted vines in the vineyard. Why these wines survive and are not attacked by the vine louse is a mystery.

Bodegas Viñas del Cenit makes two main wines, both red. Venta Mazarron is made from tempranillo and carries the denomination Tierra del Vino de Zamora. It is aged for some time (8 months) in oak barrel and has a deep colour. The other wine is simply called Cenit, is also a tempranillo wine but with longer oak barrel aging - almost two years. Both wines are very substantial and modern in style.

http://www.bodegascenit.com

All images © copyright Per Karlsson, BKWine. Images may not be used without our permission.


Castilla y Leon Tierra del Vino de Zamora Bodegas Vinas del Cenit - stock photo samples - Images by Per Karlsson

Can you think of a worse name for a wine? (Bodegas Margon, Spain)



prieto picudo Pricum bottle Bodegas Margon , DO Tierra de Leon , restaurant Imprenta Casado, Leon spain castile and leon

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Bodegas Margon, Tierra de Leon, Castilla y Leon, Spain, stock photography samples, by Per Karlsson, BKWine --- This is a selection of samples. Use Image SEARCH to find more relevant photos --- Bodegas Margon is the creation of the two families Martinez and Gonzalez in the Léon region. It is located in the small village Pajeres de Los Oteros in Castilla y Leon (Castile and Leon) in north-west Spain. The DO (Denominacion de Origen) is Tierra de Leon.

The bodega was created only a few years ago so the winery has been built recently. Nothing seems to have been spare in equipping the winery with the latest vinification technologies. There are shining stainless steel tanks as well as handsome wooden fermentation vats. There is a barrel aging room filled with oak barriques for the aging of the wines. The winery is run by the oenologist and winemaker Raul Perez Pereira together with Eugenio Gonzalez Rubio and Alfredo Martinez Cuervo, co-owners.

The main grape variety for the wines is the local prieto picudo. The vines grow on dry land, are planted with a very low planting density (there is so little water so the density must be kept low), some are approaching a hundred years. They make a range of wines, all under the brand Pricum (perhaps unfortunately chosen, for the English market). For example: Pricum Rosado; Pricum Albarin Barrica made from the albariño grape variety and aged in wood, Pricum Albarin Valdemuz a white wine where albariño is blended with verdejo; the red wines Pricum Prieto Picudo, Valdemuz and Paraje de El Santo, and a sweet white Pricum Aldebaran Vendimia Tardiva.

http://www.bodegasmargon.com

All images © copyright Per Karlsson, BKWine. Images may not be used without our permission.


Castilla y Leon Tierra de Leon Bodegas Margon - stock photo samples - Images by Per Karlsson

Can you hear angels singing? (Leon city, Castilla y Leon)



stained glass windows cathedral santa maria de regla , Leon spain castile and leon

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Leon, Castilla y Leon, Spain, stock photography samples, by Per Karlsson, BKWine --- This is a selection of samples. Use Image SEARCH to find more relevant photos --- Leon is a city in the region of Castilla y Leon (Castile and Leon) in north-west Spain. I arrived there being on a wine tour of the wine district in this part of Spain. I only wish I had had more time in Leon. It seemed like an interesting city.

Leon is the capital of the province of Leon with a population of 140,000 people. It is on the Bernesga river and also on the pilgrimage route Camino de Santiago leading to Santiago de Compostela on the Atlantic coast.

There are many sites and interesting buildings in Leon. some examples: the magnificent Gothic Santa Maria de Regla cathedral on Plaza de Regla, the Casa de Botines designed by Antoni Gaudi, the Palacio de Guzmanes etc etc.

There are also many restaurants and cafés of course. One to mention in particular is the restaurant Imprenta Casado where we had a wonderful lunch with some excellent wines from Castilla y Leon.

Time to go back?

All images © copyright Per Karlsson, BKWine. Images may not be used without our permission.


Castilla y Leon Leon city - stock photo samples - Images by Per Karlsson

It used to be a gold mine (Las Medulas, Spain)



Las Medulas Roman gold mine spain castile and leon

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Las Medulas Roman gold mine, el Bierzo, Castilla y Leon, Spain, stock photography samples, by Per Karlsson, BKWine.

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Las Medulas is an incredible man-made landscape in northern Spain in Castilla y Leon (Castile and Leon).

This is how Wikipedia describes it: "Las Médulas is a historical site near the town of Ponferrada in the region of El Bierzo (province of León, Castile and León, Spain), which used to be the most important gold mine in the Roman Empire. Las Médulas Cultural Landscape is listed by the UNESCO as one of the World Heritage Sites.

The spectacular landscape of Las Médulas resulted from the Ruina Montium, a Roman mining technique described by Pliny the Elder in 77 AD consisted of undermining the mountain with large quantities of water supplied by at least seven long aqueducts tapping the rivers in the nearby mountains. The same aqueducts were used to wash the extensive gold deposits, a precursor of Californian hydraulic mining. The area Hispania Tarraconensis had been invaded in 25 BC by the emperor Augustus, so the mining was initiated some time after the region had been subdued."

All images © copyright Per Karlsson, BKWine. Images may not be used without our permission.


Castilla y Leon El Bierzo Las Medulas Roman gold mine - stock photo samples - Images by Per Karlsson

Ex(?)-wine journalist doing research (Castile & Leon, Spain)



tempranillo and Gabriella Opaz, Catavino journalist Bodegas Vinas del Cenit, DO Tierra del Vin de Zamora spain castile and leon

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A short photo essay of a research trip with wine journalists from the Circle of Wine Writers (CWW) in Castilla y Leon (Castile and Leon) in Spain's north-western corner. The pictures may be slightly tongue in cheek and does not necessarily reflect the intense and dedicated work that goes into wine writing and wine journalism. My friends will forgive me.

Castile and Leon is a little known but very interesting part of Spain. There are several sub-districts that produce great wines. Some of the wines are very traditional and old-fashioned and others are hyper-modern. The climate is often dry and hot, the vineyards planted sparsely with vines, and you can find some amazing old vine vineyards with vines that are almost like individual works of art.


Castilla y Leon CWW - Images by Per Karlsson

Murder in the wine cellar? (Bodega Frutos Villar, Spain)



stairs down to the underground cellar bodegas frutos villar , cigales spain castile and leon

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Bodega Frutos Villar, Cigales, Castilla y Leon, Spain, stock photography samples, by Per Karlsson, BKWine --- This is a selection of samples. Use Image Search to find more photos --- Bodega Frutos Villar is a winery in the Cigales DO (Denominacion de Origen) in Castilla y Leon (Castile and Leon) in Spain. Cigales is a small town close to the city of Valladolid where they have their Bodegas Calderona winery. Frutos Villar has a long history starting as a wine trading company in the DO of Toro. It is now also active in the wine regions Rueda, Ribera del Duero, and Vino Tierra de Castilla y Leon.

Bodega Frutos Villar makes a wide range of wine under various brands: Conde de Siruela, Muruve, Calderona, Miralmonte, Conde Ansurez, Riberal, Don Frutos / vina Morejona, and Tasco.

The vineyards of Bodega Frutos Villar are mainly planted with the tempranillo grape variety for the red wines. For the rosé wines they use verdejo, tempranillo, albillo, and garnacha (grenache). They also make some white wine from e.g. verdejo and sauvignon blanc.

The winery is large scale and modern, with a mix of traditional installations and modern technology (eg a centrifuge for clarifying the wines). Some of the wines are aged in wooden barrels in the oak aging cellar. But in the village of Cigales they also have some very traditional and old fashioned underground cellars. On the outskirts of town there is an area with what looks like giant ant hills. In fact, it is the entrances to a vast labyrinth of hand-dug underground wine making and wine storing cellars. Today some of them are still used for wine making and others are used for receptions.

http://bodegasfrutosvillar.com

All images © copyright Per Karlsson, BKWine. Images may not be used without our permission.


Castilla y Leon Cigales Bodegas Frutos Villar - stock photo samples - Images by Per Karlsson

Rosé does age. If you want it to. (Bodegas Otero, Castile & Leon, Spain)



1970 Rosado old bottles in the cellar , Bodegas Otero, Benavente spain castile and leon

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Bodegas Otero, Vinos de la Tierra Valles de Benavente, Castilla y Leon, Spain, stock photography samples, by Per Karlsson, BKWine.

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Bodegas Otero, Vinos de la Tierra Valles de Benavente - Bodegas Otero is a hundred year old family wine business in the town of Benavente in the region of Zamora in Castile and Leon (Castilla y Leon) in northern Spain. Amazingly, the family business is still located in the same place as it was in 1911 when don Juan Otero Colino opened a shop selling wine there.

The wine making business of Bodegas Otero really started in 1853 after a new winery had been built. Even the winery is at the same location as 100 years ago. It shows a mix of tradition and modern technology. There are old concrete fermentation tanks as well as more modern temperature controlled stainless steel vats. (A curiosity: there's an almost antique washing machine!) Some of the wines are aged in oak barrel.

The wines made at Otero are mainly what is called Vino de Calidad (quality wine) from the region of Valles de Benavente. It is located in north western Spain, just on the edge of Portugal. Bodegas Otero makes wine from their own vineyards and from grapes harvested in the vineyards of some 300 independent grape growers. The grape are both of relatively well know varieties and specific autochthonous for the region: prieto picudo, tempranillo, mencia, verdejo, malvasia, garnacha, and even cabernet sauvignon. Bodegas Otero makes a range of different wines. Their main wine labels are Otero Tinto Reserva, Pago de Valleoscuro, El Cubeto, Vina Alegre, Panduco, and Pena Trevinca. Some are made in both red, white and rosé / rosado versions.

http://www.bodegasotero.es

All images © copyright Per Karlsson, BKWine. Images may not be used without our permission.


Castilla y Leon Benavente Bodegas Otero - stock photo samples - Images by Per Karlsson

On the border to Portugal, Arribes del Duero (Spain)



View over Duero , Fermoselle spain castile and leon

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La Setera, Arribes, Castilla y Leon, Spain, stock photography samples, by Per Karlsson, BKWine.

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La Setera is a small family run wine and cheese farm in Spain, in the tiny village Fornillos de Fermosells in the Zamora region (Castilla y Leon / Castile and Leon). The winery is in Arribes del Duero (or DO Denominacion de Origen Arribes). Arribes del Duero is a long drive west from Valladolid taking you almost to the Portuguese border. The landscape is barren, dry hills, bush vegetation, scattered vineyards, but also spectacular when you get close to the winding Douro river.

La Setera started making cheese in 1993 and wine in 2003. It is run by the Spanish-English couple Sara Groves-Raines and Francisco José (Patxi) Martinez. Bodega La Setera makes only 12,500 bottles of wine per year. The vineyard is planted with vines spaced wide, water is a limited resource. In the tiny winery the grapes are fermented in stainless steel tanks. Some wines are aged in wooden barrels. La Setera makes red, rose and white wines: La Setera Blanco Malvasia, Rosado, La Setera Tinto Crinaza, Tinto Joven, Tinto Roble (oak aged) and Tinto Roble Seleccion Especial, all sold at very modest price. They also make a sweet wine from merlot (!) grapes. The red and rosado wines are made from the grape vine variety "juan garcia" giving dense wines with a pronounced acidity and good structure. The white wine is made from malvasia grapes.

La Setera is also a "queseria", a cheese making dairy. They produce 5000 goat cheeses per year. The cheese is hand made, stored and aged in a cheese 'aging room'. During the aging process the cheese gains in flavour and gets a hard crust. They also make a blue cheese, Queso Azul.

http://www.lasetera.es

All images © copyright Per Karlsson, BKWine. Images may not be used without our permission.


Castilla y Leon Arribes del Duero Bodega La Setera - stock photo samples - Images by Per Karlsson

Bringing the arms into the wine cellar (Domaine Bertagna, Burgundy)



Oak barrel aging and fermentation cellar. Domaine Bertagna, Vougeot, Cote de Nuits, d'Or, Burgundy, France

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Domaine Bertagna, Côte de Nuits, Burgundy, stock photography samples, by Per Karlsson, BKWine.

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Domaine Bertagna is a wine estate located in the village Vougeot, on one of the main streets, in Cote de Nuits in northern Cote d'Or in BBourgogne. Go out back and you immediately get into the vineyards, with a view over neighbouring Clos de Vougeot.

Since the 1980 it is owned by the family of the German business man Gunther Reh. Today it is Eva Reh and her husband Mark Siddle who runs the estate. The total vineyard area is about 21 hectares. It is planted almost exclusively with pinot noir, the dominant grape variety in Cote de Nuits, to make red wine. They also has a tiny patch (well, not so tiny in Bourgogne, to be honest) of 1 hectare of chardonnay to make some white (that is indeed excellent too).

Their vineyards are in various appellations: Vougeot, Corton Charlemagne, Chambertin, Corton, etc. They produce wines from 18 different appellations, five grands crus, seven premier crus.

http://www.domainebertagna.com/

All images © copyright Per Karlsson, BKWine. Images may not be used without our permission.


Bourgogne Vougeot Domaine Bertagna stock photo samples - Images by Per Karlsson

The monks’ house in the vineyard (Clos de Vougeot, Burgundy)



Chateau du clos de Vougeot and vineyard cote de nuits burgundy france

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Clos de Vougeot, Vougeot, Cote de Nuits, Burgundy, stock photography samples, by Per Karlsson, BKWine.

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Clos de Vougeot (or Clos Vougeot) is a grand cru vineyard in the commune of Vougeot in the Cote de Nuits in Cote d'Or in burgundy. In its centre there is an old medieval monastery, called the Chateau du Clos de Vougeot.

The Clos de Vougeot has some 50 hectares, which makes it the biggest grand "vineyard" (perhaps more accurately, grand cru appellation) in Cote de Nuits (Bourgogne). It was created in the medieval age by the Cistercian monks from the Citeaux Abbey.

The vineyard is enclosed by a stone wall, hence the prefix "clos". It produces red wines from the pinot noir grape (a small portion of chardonnay, pinot blanc and pinot gris is allowed). Clos de Vougeot is also famous for the large number of owners who each own a plot of the "vineyard". The number varies depending on the source, sometimes quoted as high as 80. Jasper Morris lists 41 in his book on Burgundy. The truth is probably in between. Some of the land owners do not make wine themselves but sell grapes or must to others. Since it is a very well known grand cru appellation many négociant consider it important to be able to offer a Clos de Vougeot wine to their customers.

Each year there is a famous festive dinner given at the Chateau du Clos de Vougeot. It is the Confrerie des Chevalies du Tastevin who gives their great annual dinner.

All images © copyright Per Karlsson, BKWine. Images may not be used without our permission.


Bourgogne Vougeot Chateau du Clos de Vougeot - stock photo samples - Images by Per Karlsson

This would be the rich village? (Richebourg, Burgundy)



Vineyard. Le Grand Cru Richebourg. Vosne Romanee, Cote de Nuits, d'Or, Burgundy, France

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Romanee Conti, Vosne-Romanee, Côte de Nuits, Burgundy, stock photography samples, by Per Karlsson, BKWine.

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Romanee-Conti is one of the grand cru appellation vineyards in the commune of Vosne-Romanee in Cote de Nuits in Bourgogne. It is a monopole (fully owned) by the Domaine de la Romanee Conti, sometimes called DRC. It is planted exclusively with pinot noir grapes to make red wine. Not just any red wine, but one of the most expensive ones you can find.

The Romanee-Conti grand cru is just one of several around the village of Vosne Romanee. When standing looking at the stone cross on the edge of Romanee Conti you have La Grande Rue to the left, on the other side of a dirt road, behind you is Romanee Saint Vivant, above RC up the hill is La Romanee, and to you right (north) is Richebourg.

The total vineyard area is 1.63 hectares. Yields are low, much less than 30 hl/ha according to some, a bit over 40 hl/ha according to others, so there are not many bottles around, only some 4000-5000 bottles. But that is of course not the main reason that makes the wines from this vineyard one of the world's most expensive red wines. That is mainly du to its collectability and to the desire that well heeled people have to own a bottle that says Romanee-Conti on the label, and perhaps, perhaps even one day drink it. It is more of a collector's item than a beverage.

The vineyard is cultivated with organic farming since 1985.

But why there is a tall stone cross standing at the edge of the vineyard I do not know. It was erected in 1723, according to the inscription (which also says "Pierre Argo"), re-erected by the Gaudin de la Villaine and Leroy (at one time co-owners of the vineyard).

All images © copyright Per Karlsson, BKWine. Images may not be used without our permission.


Bourgogne Vosne Romanee Domaine de la Romanee Conti stock photo samples - Images by Per Karlsson