La Seca, Valladolid (Spain). Bodega Cuatro Rayas has just produced a great new wine that is destined to find a niche among the most prestigious whites in Spain. As great as the man who appears on its label: Amador Diez De Íscar, former president of the winery for 21 years. ‘Amador Diez’, the brand which figures on the unique label made from wood, comes from grapes of the oldest vineyards at Cuatro Rayas, specifically a selection made partially from the best 10 pre-phylloxera hectares over 100 years old located in Aldeanueva del Codonal (Segovia). This is the most artisan and exclusive product from both the Rueda Designation of Origin and the winery founded in 1935.
Harvested by hand and selected with painstaking care, the bottle is already a reality after spending a period of fermentation in 600 liter barrels of new French oak, with bâtonnage for eight months. Noteworthy is its elaboration with indigenous yeasts from the winery, something unique and standing apart from the more commercial elaborations known to consumers of Rueda wines.
‘Amador 10’ will be a wine to be remembered just like the extraordinary person hidden behind its label. Bodega Cuatro Rayas owes a lot to Diez De Íscar, a person endowed with an extraordinary entrepreneurial spirit, a business vision and a character open to dialogue. No doubt, he was the author of the winery’s relaunch and responsible for its successful process of internationalization and modernization that has positioned the Cuatro Rayas brand as the driving force of the Rueda Designation of Origin.
With his memory in mind and his example alive in the heart of the Rueda winegrowers, Diez De Íscar assembles us again about wine, a sector he devoted his entire life to and which today returns to him, by way of gratitude, a small part of everything he did for the DO. ‘Amador 10’ an excellent wine inspired by an outstanding man.
Pruning is one of the most important practices that the vineyard requires and the production of the next harvest will depend on its proper implementation. We’re not revealing anything new, but it is worth pointing out once in a while, because pruning does not get as much notice as other practices, such as the grape harvest itself, that punctuates the end of the year of the vine. However, this quiet, painstaking and precise task is decisive for the quality of the future wines. Pruning begins a new cycle of life for the plant. With it we will improve its performance and we will contribute to improving the quality of the wines to come.
The winegrowers take out their shears when the vineyard is bare of fruit and leaves to cut sticks, branches and other elements that are unnecessary to the plant. Pruning at Cuatro Rayas vineyards is done every year, taking advantage of the moment when the plant is at a vegetative standstill. This happens from the end of November until the end of March or early April. Winter pruning is so important that the production of that same year and that of the next year will depend on its proper execution.
Pruning using the method ‘cane and spur’ – the most widely used in our geographic area – means that, in each arm of the vine, the grower will leave a cane with between eight and ten buds. In addition to a cane in each arm, also leave a spur. Therefore, each plant will be stripped of unusable parts with only two canes and two spurs remaining. In this way the following two campaigns are controlled: the cane, for this year’s harvest, and the spur, which anticipates, or prepares the following year’s.
The entire pruning process is in the hands of our winegrowers. They decide when to enter in the vineyard with shears in hand. It is a meticulous process and not mechanized. This practice is so important for the vineyard that it is done from the first years of the plant’s life. In other words, during the first two or three years, which are crucial to the formation of the plant, pruning is for ‘training’. Once past this period, pruning is done for ‘production’. Thanks to pruning, the plant is prepared to give its all in the following months, always looking for the best performance and grape quality for the production of the future Cuatro Rayas wines in the DO Rueda.