StateWays - July/August 2015

StateWays is the only magazine exclusively covering the control state system within the beverage alcohol industry, with annual updates from liquor control commissions and alcohol control boards and yearly fiscal reporting from control jurisdictions

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11 StateWays ■ ■ July/August 2015 T R I P R E P O R T A week in Spain wasn't long enough By Jeremy Nedelka I n April I spent a week traveling across Spain, visiting a number of wineries and sampling vastly different wines as I made my way from Galicia on the At- lantic coast to Tarragona and Barcelona on the Mediterranean. All the boutique wineries I visited are part of the Ferrer Family Wines group, imported to the U.S. by Freixenet USA. Freixenet is known mostly for its cava, but the company has acquired wineries across Spain, offering consumers a full range of fl avors and varietals. The Atlantic Coast Bodegas Vionta, located in the Rias Baixas Denomination of Origin (D.O.), produces mostly white wines made from Albariño grapes. Located directly on the coast in an area protected by barrier islands, the climate is mild and rainy, unlike most of Spain. Vionta, the winery's estate wine, is the only offering available in the U.S. market. Riverside on the Duero Valdubón is located in Milagro, part of the Ribera del Duero D.O. (Rueda is further west along the Duero River). Winemaker Javier Aladro has been at Valdubón since 2004, fi ve years after it was acquired by Freixenet. Bodegas Valdubón uses mostly Temprañillo vines. The grapes are smaller than in nearby Rioja, the soil is drier and the altitude of 800m provides a 15-20 degree Celsius difference between daytime and nighttime highs. More than 50% of the hectares of vines man- aged by the winery are estate-grown. The brand's wines include Valdubón Temprañillo, Roble, Crianza, Reserva, X (10) and Honoris de Valdubón (aged in new casks for 24 months). Going Back in Time Bodegas Solar Viejo is located in the me- dieval town of Laguardia in Álava (part of the Rioja Alavesa sub-area). Solar Viejo produces three million bottles per year, less than 1% of the wine produced in Rioja, and 95% of its vines are Temprañillo. Its Vaza brand of wines are available in the U.S. market. Working for the Future At Morlanda, in the Priorat region, winemakers Maria Jose Bajon and Judit Llop are working with the Univer- sity of Tarragona to study probiotics and organic farming to protect vines from pests and diseases. They're using controlled experiments with different parts of the vine- yard to test the impact of different methods on soil qual- ity, fermentation and other factors that impact wine taste and quality. Most of the vines there are Garnacha, pri- marily 25 to 40 years old. Full Disclosure: Freixenet USA covered the expenses related to this trip, including lodging and transportation. To see more photos from my trip to Spain, visit The view from the medieval town of Laguardia in Rioja. A barrel-aging room at Bodegas Solar Viejo in Laguardia.

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