Tag Archives: spanish white wine

Welcome, Cuatro Rayas Verdejo 2017!

It is already on sale: Cuatro Rayas Verdejo white wine vintage 2017 has begun to be uncorked. The first week of last year’s December welcomed warmly one of the wines with the greater personality of our winery. The bottle, the cork and the capsule that contain it have been the final point of a long process that began when the previous harvest finished in autumn 2016. After that, winter and pruning came, first buds appeared, then leaves, and following primary clusters started to shape into form. Berries and clusters of grapes arrived, and veraison and ripening took place. And, again, harvesting: of 2017 vintage. The fruit of the vine, which today we have the chance to taste, comes from that time.

 

Many people ask us about the quality of the Verdejo variety grapes that made possible this new wine, and we can describe it in a few words; it is of exceptional quality. The winemaker, Elena Martín Oyagüe, confirms it; she is in charge of the winemaking process, and customers, who had the opportunity to taste it, reaffirm it too. Elena explains that the winemaking process began with the fermentation in stainless steel vats at around 15ºC –for 21 days– although previously, grapes were macerated in the press to extract the aromas.

The result is an over the top wine. Tasting notes show us, in the looking stage, a pale yellow colour with greenish hues, bright. It is powerful on the nose, with tropical white fruit aromas over a background of citric fruit. On the palate, it is incredibly refreshing. Intense and with crisp acidity, aromas reminiscent of white fruit appear on the aftertaste and the characteristic fennel nuances. As always, it is advisable to taste it at an optimum temperature. It pairs perfectly with any dish, product or recipe, although it is perfect to pair with appetisers, fish and shellfish. Cheers!

The lucky grapes of Cuatro Rayas

Each passing year carries away twelve months of our lives. It seems unbelievable how time passes so fast. Each new vintage remembers it to us flying by on printed paper labels. Since, for a winery, a closing year is also a completed cycle of its hard labour. All of us have witnessed it, but, the best witness is outside, outdoors: the vine.

Vines are the witness of everything, from pruning to harvest. The weight of their bunches rests on them, and they receive everything nature provides each season: frost, rain, scorching sun, night breezes and freezing winter nights. Sometimes late, inopportunely or doubly… May 2018 be mild with the vines, now that drought is hitting hard! We hope for the rain and snow to come soon, which is badly needed.

In the ending year, we want to give you our twelve grapes of luck. Actually, all the grapes at Cuatro Rayas have been touched by the magic wand of luck; otherwise, we could not uncork the great wines we produce at the winery. The grapes we will have at New Year’s Eve taste of Verdejo, fruits and flowers, that is why each bell stroke will come together with the sweet taste of good wishes. We wish happiness to every member of the team at Cuatro Rayas Winery, to our customers and friends, to our distribution network, and to wine lovers who put their trust in Cuatro Rayas when they order wine at a bar or when they uncork it at their home.

May each grape bring you luck. From Cuatro Rayas Winery, we wish you a blissful 2018, with the aim to contribute to it toasting with a Verdejo white wine in the glass. There is no better way to try your good luck. Thank you for trusting in our work and may we shared together a lot of vintages to come. Happy New Year.

Cuatro Rayas Cuarenta Vendimias Sauvignon Blanc

Just a few things are as pleasing as uncorking a bottle and tasting the wine. We burst with excitement when we observe how it entices our senses, the complexity of its nuances, the colour, and the aromas and how palate-pleasing it is. In the next video, you can watch a wine tasting of the white wine Cuatro Rayas Cuarenta Vendimias Sauvignon Blanc.

Elena Martín Oyagüe will guide us. She is the successor of Ángel Calleja –also a winemaker– and worked closely with him for two decades. She signs this special selection, produced with grapes from vineyards planted in 1990, which there are four hectares now. If you have the chance to assist a Cuatro Rayas Cuarenta Vendimias live wine tasting, you will confirm that the description fits perfectly to the wine you are about to taste.

Elena knows this wine very well and, among all its qualities, she highlights the colour, a bright pale yellow colour. It also has a fresh nose, with citric fruit, mint and white flowers hints. On the palate, again, you can pick the citric fruit hints and it shows a refreshing acidity. When pairing, the range of dishes and products is as wide as consumer’s taste, but we know it never disappoints if you pair it with fish, shellfish and cold soups and creams. We hope you enjoy this wine as much as we do when we uncork a bottle. Cheers!

 

Two weeks of direct support to the victims of the earthquake in Mexico

The export manager of Cuatro Rayas Winery, Sergio Fiorentini, returns to Spain after having experienced the earthquake first-hand and having collaborated with winery’s customer restaurants in the country. He helped washing dishes during services for the needy, supporting food gathering and buying medicines. During these two weeks, despite the cancellation of the commercial appointments, he continued to visit clients with the aim to assist in any way he could. This is his testimony:

“I would like to share with you the horrific experience I have lived in my trip to Mexico. On 19 September, while I was working together with a group of journalists we were surprised by the earthquake,I don’t need to explain what we felt, not just during the quake, but after the evacuation of the building in the service stairway, without any light and fragments of the ceiling and paint falling on us. After three long hours waiting in the street, we were allowed to come back to the hotel. Even though the sounds of ambulances and helicopters were increasing, I was not yet aware of the degree of the event.

The meetings I had planned for that afternoon, obviously, were cancelled, so I wanted to come close to the area to lend a hand in anything I could. Big was my surprise when I saw hundreds and hundreds of people making lines to remove the rubble of collapsed buildings and trying to save as many victims as possible, it was already impossible to access to the zone as the police just let through people with shovels, picks and other tools.

When I came back from Oaxaca (where I had flown to continue with my agenda) to Mexico City, on behalf of the Winery, I wanted to donate to the victims and volunteers that were working on the rescue works. Given that most of the restaurants of the city were storing food to make meals for the victims, I got in contact with two of our customer restaurants, but they told me that they could not store more foodstuff since their refrigerators were overloaded with the donations. Through the website of the Red Cross, I saw that they needed medicines, and with the help of several hotel staff, I visited several chemists due to the de shortage in order to buy saline, gauze, syringes, surgical supplies, eye drops for the volunteers, isotonic drinks, etc. Then I took them to the Álvaro Obregón area, feeling sad for what I saw, but also feeling encouraged and breathless by the strength and fortitude of the people working incessantly to save lives. The director of the Red Cross thanked us a lot the gesture and took me to where the Spanish delegation sent by the government, UME (Military Emergencies Unit), was working and I could greet and share a few minutes with them.

Back to the hotel, I found in the room the messages I enclose, written by the people who helped me to look for chemists and then took me to the place where I delivered the medicines. No words…”

Sergio Fiorentini.

Sample collection: from veraison to the end of the harvest

It is one of the most important processes before the beginning of the harvest since it will determine when the picking of the grape can begin. We are talking about the sample collection, and we always do it on site. Sampling is essential to know the state of the vineyard before harvesting. If grapes are not ripe enough, it will have an impact on the quality of the wine, that is why controls in the vineyards are so important just before the harvest.

The technical staff of the vineyard of Cuatro Rayas Winery is in charge of this important task. In general, they use defined sampling patterns in order to ensure repetitions and that all of them are taken in the same places. That is to say, in the same vineyard terrains, in the same row of vines, around the same vine plants.

It is important to know that the samples are taken randomly, but the result of the tests will provide us with the same results as if they analysed the whole plot. This process is constantly performed, from veraison, usually in mid-August, until the end of the harvest. In the case of Cuatro Rayas Winery, we take samples on almost all of the 2,300 hectares of vineyard owned by our cooperative members. Once collected and accurately identified, the samples are transferred immediately to the Laboratory at Cuatro Rayas Winery.

When the grapes are in the Laboratory, firstly, they weigh the berries. Next, they crush them to obtain must, and they analyse the acidity and potential alcohol. If the tests meet the desired parameters, they send the results to the Vineyard Department, which will begin to schedule the harvesting of the grape from the plots that were given the green light, right away and as soon as possible.

 

Manual harvest in Cuatro Rayas

When the harvest time comes, the engine of the winery sets in motion. Tractors, trailers, loading hoppers, machines and all technical staff of the winery work at full capacity. Grape pickers also have a key role; even though we harvest the majority of the vineyards in Cuatro Rayas mechanically, gobelet-trained vineyards require manual harvesting.

Today, we came to the vineyard terrain of two brothers, Ignacio and Jacinto Martín, located in Pago Bodeguilla de Serrada (Valladolid). Both are winegrower members of Cuatro Rayas, and during these days, grape pickers work hard to harvest the grapes. The process is completely manual. Nowadays, baskets and old panniers gave way to boxes, where they place the freshly cut bunches, one by one, rejecting the damaged ones. The process requires a delicate and skilful handling, sometimes bordering artisanship, from the cut with the secateurs to the placing into the boxes. Once boxes are filled, they are load into the trailers, and then the load is transferred to the winery in the shortest possible time. In this way, we can maintain, to the extent possible, the temperature and the quality of the grape.

Having a chat with Jacinto Martin made us remember how different harvesting was in years past when everything –absolutely everything– was picked by hand. It had little to do with the economic activity generated nowadays with the sales and the production of wine: harvest was simply a big celebration and a family gathering. It is difficult to forget the picture of the vineyards crowded with children, old people, people of all ages, neighbours from other villages, pack animals, charts, baskets crammed with grapes.
Over the years, first changes arrived, and machines changed harvest into something completely different. The first machines arrived in the region in the 80s from France. At first, winegrowers looked at them askance, but soon enough, they realised their advantages: they picked grapes faster, and they saved many costs, mainly workforce related. However, despite the mechanisation, those precious gobelet-trained vineyards kept by some of the members of Cuatro Rayas Winery deserve human and individual care and attention.

Click here to watch the video

Wine Press: from Roman wine press to oxygen free atmosphere

Just a few implements have contributed such efficiently to the development of winemaking as presses.  Even though modern wineries do not use Roman wine presses anymore, the main idea remains.  Wooden beams have given way to more modern materials, and nowadays, human power is not necessary to put into operation the pressing process.  Much water has flowed under the bridge between the Roman beam time and the modern systems of pressing. In fact, Cuatro Rayas Winery has given priority to the technology area, being always equipped with the best technology solutions for winemaking.

In this regard, we want to talk to you about the Inertis pneumatic press system, which works in the total absence of oxygen atmosphere, with the aim to protect the must during the pressing process. In so doing, we avoid the development of oxidation, a consequence of the losses of aromas in the musts, which are the key to the quality of our future white wines. Without a doubt, it is one of the most delicate processes for the grapes before they transform into wine. Further, in our case, these Inertis pneumatic presses are environmentally friendly, consuming very little energy and managing to rework the nitrogen generated during every process. The press we use at Cuatro Rayas Winery is part of our most advanced technological equipment. Undoubtedly, a new example of the cutting-edge technology in service of the quality and the wines of the 21st Century.