Category Archives: General

José Peñín: ‘If we had to choose a variety to represent Spain before the world, that would be Verdejo’

The wine writer and journalist, one of the most prominent professionals in the sector, is the guest of the third episode of ‘Conversations about Spanish wine’

Peñín reviews, together with Javier Pérez Andrés, his career and the current situation of the different wine regions

La Seca (Valladolid), 1 October 2019.- Following the conversations with the journalist Carlos Delgado and the sommelier Custodio Zamarra in previous editions of ‘Conversations about Spanish wine’, our guest in the third chapter of this programme revolving around the world of wine and its evolution in recent years is one of the leading voices in the sector: José Peñín. The journalist Javier Pérez Andrés chats with him in La Botica de Matapozuelos Restaurant, a rural restaurant with a Michelin star where local products are treated with special care pairing them with great wines of the region.

José Peñín is, without a doubt, a key figure in the promotion and dissemination of quality wines in Spain and a world reference in the sector. The writer and journalist has certainly the widest curriculum of commitment to wine tasting and travelling, as well as the most comprehensive sensory archive of the last 40 years of Spanish wine. Also, José Peñín is the founder of the guide bearing his name, considered the Bible of the wine in Spain, and of which even Robert Parker said he used to contrast some wines. At present, the writer –born in the province of León– maintains a great writing activity, and he also continues tasting wines. He has a great presence on social media, and soon he will surprise us with a book collecting his memoirs, that surely, will also become the memoirs of the Spanish wine.

You can watch the full video on our Cuatro Rayas Winery YouTube Channel:

You can watch a summary video in Spanish with English subtitles here:

Peñín reviews all his wine sector-related career, which began before the birth of the Designations of Origin as we know them, and he also talks about what could have been the origin of the current Peñín Guide: his first book, My 101 favourite wines. Also, his experience and vast knowledge of the sector led him to affirm that “if we had to choose a variety to represent Spain before the world, that would be Verdejo”.

Promotion of wine-making culture
“Conversations about Spanish wine’ is a new format that takes advantage of new technologies, distributed exclusively through social media. A 30-minute episode showing a meeting between great wine connoisseurs in this country and Javier Pérez Andrés, specialized journalist whose career has made him a leader of opinion on the information of wine, tourism and gastronomy in Castile and León. 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 La Botica de Matapozuelos: www.laboticadematapozuelos.com

Cuatro Rayas showcases Palomino variety in Rueda with a thousand bottles of Dorado

The cooperative advocates for this main grape variety during the dawn of the DO Rueda protecting one hectare of century-old vineyard

La Seca, 4 September 2019.- Bodega Cuatro Rayas markets for sale a very restricted quota –due to its limited production– of ’61 Dorado en Rama’, a unique wine that brings the best of the Palomino variety in the Rueda Designation of Origin. This varietal is doomed to disappear since its cultivation is forbidden, but the cooperative from La Seca takes good care of its century-old vines intending to continue producing the original wines in the area. ‘61 Dorado en Rama’ constitutes a faithful memory of the fortified white wine that was during the Spanish Golden Age, as well as the Court wine in the time of the Catholic Monarchs, and reached its maximum splendour with the Royal Decree of 1911, stating that the wine of Tierra de Medina was a special wine similar to those of Jerez. Without a vintage, this selection is the only saca (taking out) from 2019 butts.

Palomino of Cuatro Rayas, coming from just one-hectare plot dating back to a century, is half vinified with century-old Verdejo vines that refresh a selection of twelve plus one butts with velo de flor. Winemakers Elena M. Oyagüe and Roberto L. Tello have tasted more than a hundred barrels, some with wines older than 60 years-old, selecting the best ones to produce an exceptional coupage. The wine, aged in these butts in the same manner as the solera system of Sherry wine, when it loses the flor at the end of Spring, experiences an oxidation process that makes it golden. From the butt to the bottle without fining or filtering this ‘Dorado en rama’ is the everlasting expression of the authentic mid-twentieth century soleras in the present-day DO Rueda.

The wine has as a standard the brand 61. Dorado was the first wine bottled in the winery. In 1938 vintage, the members decided to take the wine to the winery for the first time and put it into big concrete vats. They chose the best they had with a clear objective: ageing the wine collectively in everyone’s home. After loading the concrete vats 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: It was the birth of the first trademark of the cooperative.

61 Dorado en Rama (94 Peñín points) and 61 Dorado (91 Wine Spectator points and 91 Peñín points)

Peñín Guide, an international reference, has awarded 94 points to ‘61 Dorado en Rama’ (50% Palomino and 50% Verdejo). In 2018, it was performed the last traditional taking out of ‘61 Dorado’ (75% Verdejo and 25% Palomino), which is sold without interruption since the 1950s, a wine that in recent years has received very positive reviews (91 Peñín points and 81 Parker points) and has just been awarded 91 points by the Wine Spectator in its 2019 October issue.

Bodega Cuatro Rayas announces the available dates for the 2019 Harvest of the stars

The activity ‘Harvest of the stars’ will be held on Saturday 14 and Friday 20 of September

The ‘Harvest at dawn’ will be held on the morning of 28 September

 

La Seca (Valladolid), 27 August 2019. With the beginning of the harvest, Bodega Cuatro Rayas will resume next 14 of September its wine harvest tour activities. This year there will be three available days to enjoy two experiences that the cooperative winery from La Seca will offer on the 14 and 20 of September: the traditional ‘Harvest of the stars’ (Vendimia de las Estrellas), which in previous editions became the signature activity of the Rueda Wine Route; and on the 28 of the same month: Harvest at dawn (Vendimia al Amanecer), an activity for the whole family that had a great reception last year.

 

In this edition, on Friday 20 and Saturdays 14 and 28 of September, it is forecast that the members of the cooperative will perform the harvest tasks, and these will be offered to anyone who wants or can experience first-hand the harvest activities in Rueda Designation of Origin.
The harvesting experiences include: a visit to the vineyard, perform manual harvest or observe mechanical harvest, take part in the reception of the grapes at the winery, visit the facilities where the wine-producing tasks are performed on this time of the year and finally a lunch or dinner paired with wine of the winery.

Essential experiences

 

For more information: enoturismo@cuatrorayas.es / +34 647 740 517

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.

Carlos Delgado, wine critic: “The best strategic area for wine in Spain is Castile and Leon”

The specialised journalist starred in the first episode of ‘Las charlas del vino español’ a new dissemination format revolving around the world of wine, sponsored by Bodega Cuatro Rayas and directed by the agri-food and wine journalist Javier Pérez Andrés

La Seca (Valladolid), June 2019.- Carlos Delgado, wine critic of the newspaper ‘El País’, is the first guest of ‘Las charlas del vino español’ (Conversations about Spanish wine), a new dissemination format where wine industry experts will share conversations revolving around wine and the revolution that has undergone in the last years. Taking advantage of the new technologies and social media for dissemination and sponsored by Bodega Cuatro Rayas, this content will have 30-minutes chapters that will be publish fully in YouTube, and showcase big Spanish wine experts meeting with Javier Pérez Andrés, a specialized journalist that, due to his career, has become an opinion leader in wine, tourism and gastronomy.

In these meetings, they will share their opinions, values and criteria. All of this in a series of talks, that, for the first time, generates a serious discussion filled with knowledge from the biggest authorities in the industry: journalists, sommeliers and several professionals of recognised prestige. Espacio Primavera 9, located in the heart of Madrid, is the setting for the first of these talks, hold with the journalist Carlos Delgado. In this conversation, Delgado reflects on the wine in our country, both in terms of history and evolution. Besides, the journalist advocates for implementing changes in the way we understand and enjoy wine, with proposals as the importance of promoting sensory education since childhood. Regarding the current situation, Delgado has been categorical, ensuring that “strategically, the best region for wine in Spain is the autonomous community of Castile and Leon”.

As a closure to the talk, the guests and Pérez Andrés will enjoy a meal at renowned restaurants where they paired their menus with Cuatro Rayas Cuarenta Vendimias Cuvée, a collectible Verdejo wine exclusively distributed to the hospitality industry and the best wine bars. On this turn, Javier Pérez Andrés and Carlos Delgado had lunch at the prominent restaurant-wine bar García de la Navarra in Madrid.

Renowned wine critic: 25 years in El País
The relevance of Carlos Delgado is supported by his wide experience in the specialised press, after more than 25 years working as a wine critic for the newspaper El País. Also, he is the author of books as ‘Cien recetas Magistrales’, ‘La cocina de los grandes chefs’, ‘El libro del vino’ or the most recent, ‘Manual del Santo Bebedor’. He has also been the creator and commissary of events as important as Vinoble, Sicer, TopWineSpain, La Calle de Baco or EspaiPriorat.

Wine culture support
The initiative ‘Las charlas del vino español’ is sponsored by Bodega Cuatro Rayas, a leader cooperative in the Spanish wine sector and benchmark of 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 the greatest experts at the national level.

Thanks to Espacio Primavera 9 and to Restaurante Vinoteca García de la Navarra

‘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.