Author Archives: Cuatro Rayas

Custodio Zamarra: “The best wine is the one that, according to your budget, makes you happier”

The renowned sommelier is the second guest of ‘Conversations about Spanish wine’, hosted by the journalist Javier Pérez Andrés. Zalacaín restaurant, where Zamarra developed his career for more than 40 years, is the setting for this conversation revolving around the world of wine

La Seca (Valladolid), 3 July 2019.- After featuring the specialised journalist Carlos Delgado in the first edition of ‘Conversations about Spanish wine’, the second edition of this programme features one of the most renowned sommeliers in Spain. On this occasion, Javier Pérez Andrés talks with Custodio Zamarra, sharing anecdotes and thoughts around the wine industry and its evolution over the past 25 years. Zamarra reflects about the wine industry in Spain and emphasises, among other things, that “the best wine is the one that, according to your budget, makes you happier”. In this respect, he adds that “from the point of view of winemaking, no wine costs more than 50 euros”, though, “when it comes to wine, we don’t only pay the content, but its history”.

The scenario for this talk was the Zalacaín restaurant, where Zamarra was a sommelier for more than 40 years until his retirement. His history in this famed Madrilenian gastronomy symbol, as well as the evolution of wine and the work of sommeliers in recent years, are some of the key points of the conversation between Pérez Andrés and Zamarra. So, after giving value to the journey experienced by the viticulture in our country, the sommelier has not hesitated to assert that “Spain is one of the most important countries in the world of wine”. Pérez Andrés and Zamarra enjoy their meal paired with Cuatro Rayas Cuarenta Vendimias Cuvée, a collectible Verdejo wine, distributed exclusively to the hospitality industry and the best wine bars which the sommelier states that is a “really extraordinary Verdejo wine”.

Four decades of dedication to wine in Zalacaín
Custodio Zamarra is one of the most important personalities in the world of sommeliers in Spain. Working in the hospitality industry since she was very young, his career in Zalacaín began at the early age of 24, when he joined the team of this restaurant in Madrid. From there on, thousands of wines have passed through Zamarra’s hands. Making him one of the most authoritative voices in the national wine scene.

Promotion of wine-making culture
“Conversations about Spanish wine’ is a new format that takes advantage of new technologies, distributed exclusively through social networks. A 30-minute episode that shows a meeting between the greatest wine connoisseurs in this country and Javier Pérez Andrés – a specialised journalist whose career has made him a leader of opinion on the information of wine, tourism and gastronomy in Castile and Leon. In these meetings, they will share their opinions, values and criteria. All of this in a series of talks, that, for the first time in Spain, generates a serious discussion filled with knowledge from the biggest authorities in the industry: journalists, sommeliers and several professionals of recognised prestige. The initiative ‘Conversations about Spanish wine’’ is sponsored by Bodega Cuatro Rayas, leader cooperative in the DO Rueda. Having quality wine as a key cornerstone, with this new format, the winery wants to focus on spreading the knowledge of the wine industry with the support of experts.

Acknowledgement to Restaurant Zalacaín

 

The success of ’61’ Vermouth Verdejo at three Italian Michelin-rated restaurants

La Seca (Valladolid), 27 June 2019. Bodega Cuatro Rayas’ aperitif crosses frontiers and settles in the quintessential home of vermouth: Italy. Three of the Michelin-rated restaurants in this country have in their wine menus ’61’ Vermouth Verdejo, aperitif launched on the market in 2017, thus becoming the first 100% verdejo winery vermouth, and since its release, it has continuously amazed the devoted consumers of this drink.

Besides finding this vermouth in Spain, Mexico, Canada, Germany, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, The Netherlands, and Poland, ’61’ Vermouth Verdejo is present in wine menus of several world-renowned and prestigious restaurants, such as: Ristorante Dolada (Pieve d’Alpago), Ristorante Al Capriolo (Vododi Cadore), Ristorante Tivoli (Cortina d’Ampezzo), all of them awarded one Michelin Star and located in the North of Italy, next to the region where vermouth was born in the 18th century as we know it today.

’61’ Vermouth Verdejo
The mix of Verdejo wines (50% wine of the year and 50% barrel-fermented wine) together with botanical essences provide this vermouth with a mahogany colour and amber highlights, an intense aroma where low bush as fennel and elderflower dominate with hints of thyme and rosemary – characteristic of the Verdejo variety. Balanced on the palate, with a bitter, pleasant long finish, and the balsamic aftertaste we found on the nose.

Michelin Stars with a taste of Valladolid
In Valladolid, we can also find some Verdejo wine from Bodega Cuatro Rayas in two Michelin-rated restaurants: La Botica de Matapozuelos, opened in 2002 and located in the village of Matapozuelos in Valladolid province, where you can enjoy their gastronomical creations paired with Cuatro Rayas Cuarenta Vendimias Cuvée or ‘61′ Dorado; Restaurante Trigo, sharing passion for gastronomy since 2017 and located in the city of Valladolid, where you can find Amador Diez. These three brands are exclusive verdejo products debunking the myth that Verdejo wines must be consumed within the year.

‘Wine Spectator’ praises the acidity and balance of Cuatro Rayas Cuarenta Vendimias Cuvée

The prestigious American magazine has included in its digital edition the wine tasting of this Verdejo wine with a 90-points score

May 2019, La Seca (Valladolid).- ‘Wine Spectator’, one of the most prestigious American magazines regarding wine in the English-speaking world, has highlighted the quality of a wine from Bodega Cuatro Rayas, namely, the premium range of Cuatro Rayas Cuarenta Vendimias. In this respect, it has awarded 90 points to Cuatro Rayas Cuarenta Vendimias Cuvée 2017. “This white offers an appealing mix of stone fruit, wet stone and floral notes. Generous yet pure, with well-integrated acidity that leaves an orange blossom finish”, says on the review and specifies about its balance, “not showy, but harmonious”.

 

Bodega Cuatro Rayas presented during 2018 harvest Cuatro Rayas Cuarenta Vendimias Cuvée 2017, a collection white wine that puts together the most valuable viticultural heritage in DO Rueda (old vineyards located in the best areas of the designation) and the work of three generations of winemakers. It is a wine that breaks the myth that Verdejo wine should be consumed within a year, against those who say that this grape evolves badly in the bottle. In this wine for ageing newly released on the market, the winery tries that the condition of the grape (ripeness, pH, etc.) selected from forty-year-old vine plots, as well as the ageing on lees and the short oak barrel ageing, provide the wine with the required complexity so that time can bring the best of it.

Likewise, ‘Wine Spectator’ remarked the quality of Cuatro Rayas Cuarenta Vendimias Verdejo Sobre Lías (88 p.), also a flagship Verdejo wine of DO Rueda stating that “this broad white shows a creamy texture stays lively thanks to bright acidity”. Offers pear, herbal and ginger flavours that attain a savoury balance.

Worldwide recognition
‘Wine Spectator’ is a respected American magazine specialised in wines. This publication has over four decades of history and was founded by Bob Morrisey in 1976. Every year, the magazine lists the top 100 wines of the world, selected by a wine tasting team. They rate the wines on a scale of 85 to 100 points. Wines between 90 and 95 are considered as ‘outstanding’.

Víctor Fernández: “Like wine, my game as a player improved over the years”

Víctor Fernández, an icon to Real Valladolid fans, chats with Benjamín about the past and present of Valladolid. A ‘toast to the goal’ and his dream team and city.

“Valladolid is everything to me, and that is what made me stay here”. Right off the bat, Víctor Fernández buries to the back of the net Benjamín’s first centre pass. They both played in the same touch-line of José Zorrilla Stadium and shared one of the most famous periods of Real Valladolid, Cantatore’s ‘EuroPucela’. “When I arrived in 1996, some factors not seen for a long time came together including the coach, a very competent team and the fans (which we could see again this year with the promotion)”, recalls Víctor, while he shares dressing room stories with another legendary player of the white and purple team, Benjamín Zarandona. Several years later, both seize the opportunity to make a ‘toast to the goal’ with Verdejo Cuatro Rayas in “La Tasquita” tavern and to remember old times. They were very good times.

Víctor and Benjamín accompany the chat with Verdejo of Cuatro Rayas in La Tasquita tabern.

“We were able to beat over everyone. Barcelona, Valencia… It didn’t matter which team came to play at home; we beat them off”, says Víctor. Benjamín performs a push-and-run: “the 3-1 to the Barcelona… and it so happens that Ronaldo, the current president, scored the first goal against us…” and Víctor returns him the first pass: “We turned it around playing great football, I remember having many scoring chances”. The product of Real Madrid’s youth system recalls that time in Zorrilla stadium as: “four wonderful years where he managed to play for the national team”. And due to his performance in Real Valladolid, he received a call from José Antonio Camacho to make his debut for the Spanish national team. He entered the pitch as a substitute for Luis Enrique, current coach of the national team. It was a 23 February 2000, and he will always remember it.

From the city on the river Pisuerga, he took the plunge to Villareal, a team that marked him and now he now knows first-hand and which is soon to face Real Valladolid: “It is very different from what we had (referring to his time as a player in that team). It is a team above the rest, without including Madrid, Barça, Atlético de Madrid; here they are… a team with so much talent”.

Years later, he came back home, to Valladolid. “The year of the promotion with Mendilibar surely was my best season. […] I think that my game as a player improved over the years”. Like wine!, says Benjamín. A statement to which Víctor agrees with a knowing wink. In his own words: “I enjoy Valladolid cuisine and wine very much”. Cheers!

You can watch the full video on Cuatro Rayas Winery YouTube Channel:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzXWphp-emE.

A toast to the goal
Cuatro Rayas Winery creates this space within its sponsorship of Real Valladolid. It is a meeting point for football aficionados in general, and for Real Valladolid fans in particular. A cool and carefree space, seeking to bring the human side of a sport that gathers the passion of millions of people around the world. Benjamín, acting as master of ceremonies, has Víctor as his second guest. In the near future, new public figures will chat with him to share their anecdotes and curious facts: familiar faces of the world of sport, media and show business. Who will be the next to make a toast to the goal with Cuatro Rayas?

Download Photos: https://we.tl/t-Z0SNbrcMnO
Download HD Video: https://we.tl/t-DHNsYsEQiu

’61’ Dorado, a new label for a veteran wine

’61’ Dorado, the first bottled brand of the cooperative, gets a new image to be in line with the last product of Cuatro Rayas Winery: ’61’ Vermouth.

With a dusty gold colour that remembers of the interior of the bottle, guarded by the legendary 61 of the brand, it keeps the essence of what it was and the promise that, once you drink it, you will travel to the past, where wines were fortified and reminiscent of roasted flavours.

Few know that there was a time, not long ago, where fortified wines were the identity of wines in Rueda, Medina, La Seca, Serrada, Nava del Rey and almost all winegrowing villages in the region. This period went from the last quarter of the 19th century up to the 70s. A good example of this are the countless underground cellars, with thousands of barrels and casks in different sizes that the coopers made inside the caves. Well, nowadays we can still talk and taste the last stronghold of these historic wines that were produced, as Sherry wines, using the tiers and soleras system. Cuatro Rayas Winery keeps a wine with these characteristics: 61 Dorado. Coincidentally, this type of wine remains within the categories and typologies regulated by the Regulatory Council of the Designation of Origin of Rueda.

This regulation covers this category of wine “Dorado” and defines it as: “A dry fortified wine produced using oxidative ageing, that must remain in oak barrels for, at least, two years before being commercialised; with golden colour, roasted aromas and flavours due to the long oxidation inside wood barrels and no less than 15% of alcohol content”. Over the years, this kind of wines lost their prominence, giving way to other types of products, although they were always produced under the banner of Verdejo variety.

Cuatro Rayas Winery never forwent this type of wine; in fact, it is the most emblematic of the winemaking tradition. It was the first wine bottled in the winery back in 1950. In 1938 vintage, members decided to take the wine to the winery for the first time and put it into big wooden vats. They chose the best they had with a clear objective: ageing the wine collectively in everyone’s home. Once the wooden vats were loaded with wine, number 61 was the best of all that is why they decided that 61 would become the name shown on the first bottles: Fino 61. It was the birth of the first trademark of the cooperative.

Cuatro Rayas Winery remains faithful to this type of wine. We still produce it in tiers and soleras, the same way they did it at that time. Today we call it ‘Dorado Rueda 61’, and it is the most reliable witness of how winemaking was done in the past. Thus, this white wine (Verdejo and Palomino varietal) takes its name ‘Dorado’ –golden in Spanish– because it refers to its ageing time. It has a high alcohol content (15.5º) and takes a long ageing time. The secret remains in the overripe grapes, and the fermentation and solera processes.

Quality Department of Cuatro Rayas Winery

In our departments and areas tour of the structure of Cuatro Rayas winery, today we want to talk you about the functions performed by the Quality Department. Its mission is a key element within our viticulture project since they are accountable for the upgrading and implementation of the quality and food safety requirements under the food regulations BRC (British Retail Consortium) and IFS (International Food Standard).

The full compliance with the quality standards affects all departments, stages and personnel of Cuatro Rayas Winery. It starts at the vine plant, even before the harvesting of the wine grape, and finishes long after the winemaking and bottling of the wine; extending up to the dispatching and expedition of orders to the markets. During this long process –from the vineyard to the consumer–, this department carries out extensive checks in order to comply with all requirements regarding food safety. There are controls of the vine, also in the laboratory, and utmost monitoring of the winemaking and bottling processes, and also on the labelling and packaging stage. Even suppliers of the winery must go through a strict control in order to comply with the requirements of the regulations.

The Quality Department of Cuatro Rayas remarks the importance that all departments are involved in this area, as it is a way to strengthen their commitment to the company and consumers. After all, the rigour and transparency of all our processes contribute to strengthen their trust in our work. It should also be noticed that, to this respect, it is always important to work for the continuous improvement of the wine process; this is why the department insists on the update, renewal and implementation of many new changes that ensure maximum compliance with our quality objectives.

Concha Hernández

Concha Hernández and Ricardo Serrano work in this department. Both are quality technicians at this division of Cuatro Rayas Winery. Concha, the person who welcomed us today at her job, has been associated with the winery since 2017, and since then, has been working in this area. Born in Pozaldez, this engineer also has a Master’s Degree in Quality and Environment Integrated Systems. “We must work to adapt to the needs of our customers, to whom we owe the fulfilment of the highest requirement standards to cover their expectations in all areas”, she said.

Marketing and Communications Department of Cuatro Rayas Winery

The Marketing and Communications Department is responsible for managing the information and communication that Cuatro Rayas Winery generates, both internal (to the members and employees) and external, i.e., the information related to the media, sponsorships and brand image. The managers of this department are as well responsible for the development of advertising and communications campaigns and the constant presence of the winery at important trade fairs and promotional events. Thanks to their familiarity with the wine tasting language and their broad knowledge about the philosophy of the winery and all the winemaking processes, they are usually present in wine tastings, presentations and they provide direct assistance to the wine tourists, who visit the winery from around the world.

The Marketing and Communications team is also responsible for managing and creating content on social networks where Cuatro Rayas Winery is present. Certainly, we can say that this department is one of the most strategic within the winery because they are accountable for keeping the image of the company and also the smooth communication among the members of the entity, in this case, the members of the cooperative winery.

Álvaro Gago, María Estévez and Sonia García work at this department. Álvaro is the director of Communications, public relations of the winery and the person in charge for the contact with the specialised and general press. Born in Valladolid, he graduated in Journalism at the European University Miguel de Cervantes of Valladolid and joined this department of the company from La Seca in 2015; since then, he exercises his role as leading manager.

Born in Madrid, but living in Valladolid, María Estévez graduated in Advertising and Public Relations at the University of Valladolid (UVA). She is in charge of writing press releases, managing the sponsorships and Intranet and the Enotourism area. The latest addition to the department has been Sonia García. Born in Tordesillas (Valladolid), she graduated in Advertising and Public Relations, also at the UEMC. Her tasks are related to the design of labels and display advertising, web updates and Product Marketing.

Operations Department of Cuatro Rayas Winery

Operations Department is responsible for organising the entire production. In this department work, as main leaders, Luis Bernardo (Director of Operations); Jorge Labajo (Production Manager); Sara de Íscar (Purchasing manager) and the quality technicians Ricardo Serrano and Concha Hernández. This Operation Department includes other important sub-departments as:

Purchasing. It establishes all relations with suppliers. They are also responsible for all the supporting elements of the bottling, i.e., everything related to material purchasing for the winery, from corks to labels, cardboard boxes and even the bottles where we introduce the wine to be marketed. Sara de Íscar works at this department as the main leader. She joined the winery in 2004. Born in Serrada, this agricultural engineer has specific training in Purchase and Management of Wineries.

Production. This department is in charge of materialising the orders in the bottling plant. It is to be noted that, precisely, this bottling plant is one of the ‘gems’ of Cuatro Rayas Winery, as it has the biggest production capacity in Castile and Leon. For example, its maximum production reaches 10,000 bottles per hour, and has an actual output of 75,000 bottles per day, making an annual bottling total of 18 million units. We bottle more than 200 brands, on two shifts (morning and afternoon) and a third dedicated exclusively to cleaning tasks. The modern bottler is equipped with cleaning, filling up and corking stations. After passing through this process, the bottles arrive at the encapsulating, labelling, packing and palletising areas, and then placing the goods at the departure point, ready for distribution. In the bottling line work: the managers Fernando Vidal, Pedro A. Sobrino, Emilio Olteanu and Hector Asensio; in addition to the operators Francisco Fidalgo, José Mª Vidal, Rodrigo Rivera, Santiago Pocero, Sergio Sacristán and Agustín Rochas; and Fidel Muñoz, Óscar García y Víctor Capellán (cleaning tasks).

Logistics. This sub-department is responsible for organising and preparing all the orders to arrive correctly at their destination. In this case, we are talking about the Warehouse, with a maximum capacity of 1.2 million bottles. Five operators work here: Javier Rodilana (responsible for Reception); Javier Cantalapiedra (Distribution) and the operators Antonio Cantalapiedra, Braulio Romo and Sergio Rochas.

A vine plant from Cuatro Rayas in the Royal Zarzuela Gardens

It happened in mid-April 2010. The cooperative Cuatro Rayas Winery was currently immersed in the celebration of its 75 anniversary, a good reason to be granted a hearing with the then prince Felipe at the Zarzuela Palace. Certainly, it was a unique moment that the members and other guests of a delegation of the winery from La Seca will never forget, including the then president Fernando Prieto; the manager, Vicente Orihuela; line managers of every department, and the presidents of the winery over the past 30 years.

There are not only numerous photos of that visit to be remembered, but also Felipe’s words of thanking when he was awarded the Gold Badge of the winery. He was also very grateful to receive the second gift –which by the way, it quite unusual for such royal palace–, a Verdejo variety vine plant. Felipe himself said that the specimen would be immediately transplanted in the Zarzuela Gardens, joining thus other ornamental and forest species of great singularity. Surely, the gift was well appreciated, since it comes from the Pago de las Cuatro Rayas, one of the most emblematic plots of the cooperative, as it is the point where the four municipalities of La Seca, Medina del Campo, Rueda and Rodilana touch. Don Felipe not only showed great interest on its origin but also on where was the most appropriate place to plant it, taking into account all the needs for a vine of these characteristics – like the type of soil, sunlight and aeration.

Also, on that important day, we do not want to forget the delivery to His Royal Highness of a Magnum bottle of Cuatro Rayas by Dionisio Miguel Recio, already deceased and former president of Club Balonmano Valladolid, one of the major sports team sponsored by our winery. Again, Felipe expressed his gratitude for the gift and showed his interest, as part of a more relaxed conversation, in other aspects of the firm, such as the production, distribution, commercial network and presence, mainly, in the international markets.

Cuatro Rayas Cuarenta Vendimias Ribera del Duero

Cuarenta Vendimias expands its range with the addition of a Tempranillo red wine from Designation of Origin Ribera del Duero. Elena M. Oyagüe put her stamp on this wine; she was in charge of selecting the grapes coming from 40-year-old vineyards in the Ribera del Duero. It is worth remembering that this is not the first incursion of Cuatro Rayas Winery in Designation of Origin Ribera del Duero since we have already released our first red wine –introduced last year– becoming very successful in the market. Thanks to the release of a Ribera del Duero red wine, the cooperative form La Seca expands its range of quality wines.

The winemaker Elena M. Oyagüe, author of the 2015 vintage, is responsible for providing the tasting notes. Elena reminds us that this is the second project born in the heart of Ribera del Duero and, in this case, the wine has been produced in the area of Pedrosa de Duero (Burgos) from 100% Tempranillo variety grapes and a 10-month oak barrel ageing.

Cuarenta Vendimias Ribera del Duero 2015 wine meets all parameters established by this typology. Appearance: cherry red colour with purple highlights, bright, full-bodied and purple-like aspect. Very intense on the nose, coffee bean aromas predominate with hints of mocha over a background of ripe fruit –plumb, cherry and vanilla– very well integrated. On the palate, coffee bean flavours, ripe fruit and vanilla appear again. It is very persistent, fleshy and has a long and balanced finish.

Due to its structure, a variety of dishes pairs perfectly with this wine, including red meat and game, even a good dish of grilled vegetables, for example.