Experience wine tasting in Requena Spain: incredible tasting wines at one of the best bodegas in Requena, the vineyards of Chozas Carrascal. The family run business is made up of Julián López and María José Peidro, who are two wine lovers and the founders of the vineyards. The family are committed to producing the best quality wines possible with the help of their son and daughter, the future of their successful winemaking business.
Julián and María have taught their children to appreciate the sometimes sophisticated winemaking techniques and work closely with one another. They also employ a small, professional team who help strive towards the same goal: to produce distinctive wines with that personal touch.
It is in August every year that the grapes are harvested. The harvest is the most important and poignent moment for the winery, it signifies a new beginning that inspires the whole team. They are working long hours but the rewards lie quite lierally in the fruits of their labour.
The family have combined tradition with modern technology to successfully cultivate wines that are unique in character, making sure that only the best quality grapes are used from their 11 different grape varieties planted.
Every attention to detail is used in every step of the winemaking process at Chozas Carrascal. A prime example, is the fact that they only harvest at dawn when the grapes are cooler. The grapes are de-stemmed by a machine and transferred to a sorting table in the cellar, sometimes the grapes are even picked by hand to keep the damage limitation to an absolute minimum.
The vineyards are located on the top of a small hill in Requena, 700m above sea level. They have a slight gradient to ensure they receive enough sunlight and nutrients in the daylight. The climate here is classed as ‘continental’ which means that the summers are long and warm and the winters short and cold. This perfect climate combined with the chalky limestone in the soil means that the land is in great condition for producing their strong wines. Julián descibes his wines as,
‘Complex. Bodied. Coloured. With persistence and minerality. With strength. With fruit, colour, tannins, ripeness and roundness. With freshness and primary aromas.’
In the beginning, the vineyards of Chozas Carrascal kept with local tradition as they first grew the Valencian grape, the centuries old, Bobal. However as they like to mix tradition with modernity, they were amongst the first vineyards to grow foreign varieties of grape such as Chardonnay and Sauvignon blanc. Today, for their red wines (vino tintos), they also grow Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Tip: for all of you who keep your red wine in the fridge during the summer, the recommended serving temperature should be between 16º- 14º for reds and for white wines between 8º – 9º.
The tour starts in the Museum of Labels which is a large, contemporary room with a vintage collection of books and aromas from where the family gain their inspiration.
Next, is where the magic happens: you have a walk through the beautiful vineyards and get to see each type of grape in its full glory. There is also a modern garden with aromatic flowers and panoramic views of the vineyards, from here you can actually sample the different grape varieties.
The fermentation cellars of Chozas Carrascal are impressive to say the least. The mix of concrete and steel tanks makes the winery unique and sets them apart from the competition, not to mention the cleanliness. It is absolutely immaculate! There is even a tank shaped like an egg, again a modern twist on an aged old process.
From the light you pass into the darker fermentation cellars where the wines age and mature. Again, a very impressive room with row upon row of French oak barrels, the aroma is fantastic!
Down another flight of stairs and you’re dazzled by a beautiful bubble chandelier as you are now entering the Cava cellar. Here, again are rows of bottles of sleeping cava just waiting to be awoken for that special occasion.
The tour finishes in the Old Cellar which was built in 1870, it’s quite beautiful and still intact with its old quarry tiled floors and white washed rustic walls. The winemaking process hasn’t changed much but the techniques and have been refined over the years rather like a fine wine!
The family save the best until last and finally you get a chance to actually taste the wines. One of the most famous red wines produced is called ‘Las Ocho’ because it is made from 8 different varieties of grape. It’s also famous for its 14 months of fermentation in the French oak barrel and a further 12 months in the bottle. All of these features combined make ‘Las Ocho’ the perfect accompaniment to any meal. Its colour is ruby red with an intense but elegant aroma. Subtle flavours of vanilla, coffee and chocolate make this wine a true labour of love.
The cava is also exceptional. It tastes clean, bright and bubbly. With hints of apple, apricot and tropical fruits. There are soft nuances of magnolia flower with a well balanced, persistent and elegant acidity.
If you want more information on wine tasting in Requena Spain or want to participate in this unique experience, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org. The Chozas Carrascal family will be happy to help you plan your visit, translators are available on request. Enjoy!