PHILOSOPHY – SUSTAINABLE VITICULTURE
As a family winery, we understand wine in a special way, as a project that has to endure over time and remain faithful to certain principles. Respect for our land and keeping terroir and its representativeness centre stage in each wine are ideals we cannot and will not renounce.
MADE WITH LOVE
We are extremely focused on maintaining the legacy of our vineyards from generation to generation, which is why for the last few years we have dedicated them entirely to changing over our plots, not only to move to organic, the absolute minimum to guarantee their durability and balance, but also to reduce the treatments and amount of copper we use for control purposes to the minimum. We understand the vine as a living being and our goal is to help it strike a natural balance in the healthiest possible way.
We know we have to understand our vineyards and their needs as much as humanly possible and do so through careful observation during the harvest followed by tweaks to any work that can be improved. We know that a special wine comes from a special vineyard, and we also know that our vineyards are truly spectacular.
Maintaining the identity of the vineyard and its variety is a maxim for us. All work in the winery is geared towards achieving that goal. Small production is on the rise and a way of working that offers us a wealth of information about each of our vineyards.
As a consequence of our ideals, we avoid processes that may lead us away from our objective, such as using barrels with very marked toasting that might mask their true identity, relying too much on pumping over during production, or using commercial yeasts.
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OF VITICULTURE
No use of systemic or any other kind of herbicide.
Rational soil management, preventing the erosion and desertification of high ground.
Highlands: mowing from the start of vegetation.
Lowlands: grass up to the height of the bunches and mowing in August for better ripening of the fruit.
Rational fertilisation with organic matter, based on an analysis of the microorganisms it contains.
Treatments with sage and horsetail infusions.
Vegetation handled manually: Green pruning, manual leaf removal, etc.
Varietal conversion from Palomino to Mencía with traditional grafting techniques,
such as cleft, to maintain the old root
with less production but higher quality.
PHILOSOPHY – I+D+I
We feel it is our obligation to continue learning every year if we want to give the best of ourselves. In recent years, many things have changed at Casar de Burbia. Although the essence remains the same, the truth is that we have been making changes to how we do things, changes that are the result of our accumulated experience and also the involvement in researching the factors that can affect our wines.
MICROBIOLOGY IN THE VINEYARD
A year ago we launched an ambitious research project on microbiology in our vineyard, specifically on the microbiome, to better understand the microorganisms in the vineyard and in the roots of the plants. With this study we want to better understand the factors that affect how the grapes come to show all of the area’s character. The final results are still pending, and we have two more years of work ahead of us.
The last research project we completed was to deepen our knowledge of the influence of working with lees on our white and red wines. During five harvests we investigated the influence of both commercial and native yeasts when making the wines and we also (and this was more complex) developed knowledge so we could work with these lees safely and stem both the microbiological risks and those arising from the aromatic deviations associated with the formation of negative sulphur compounds during work with lees.
Although it sounds obvious, the study served to scientifically confirm that the best results came from using native yeasts which also yields more interesting and positive analyses. All the knowledge obtained from this research had been being applied quite successfully to our wines since the 2017 harvest.
STUDY ON CHROMATIC AND AROMATIC STABILITY IN MENCÍA
We started this study in 2008 and over the course of two years we focused on analysing the chromatic stability of Mencía red wines and how the colour and phenolic composition of Mencía is affected by viticultural and winemaking work. This study has allowed us to work with different techniques depending on the chromatic and aromatic composition of the target wine. This study was a very important starting point at Casar de Burbia. It was the precursor of the change in the way we make and choose the grapes entering the winery, starting to use a berry by berry selection and destemming system and working with the whole grape without crushing it in the transfer to tank.
STUDY ON THE AROMATIC PROFILE OF MENCÍA AND ITS MODIFICATION DURING AGEING
This study was exciting because it included different wineries from different parts of Spain. The goal was to learn more about the aromatic profile of the typical varieties of each area, Mencía in our case, and the influence of the selection of native yeasts when promoting the release of more potent primary and secondary aromatic precursors for each variety. The study allowed us to understand five very important aspects when working in the winery: Recognising Mencía’s characteristic primary aromas as well as the contribution of amino acids to the formation of secondary aromas during alcoholic fermentation and to the development of the wine’s final aromatic profile. Learning more about malolactic fermentation (second fermentation) and its influence on the modification of the aromatic profile of Mencía wine. The influence of the barrel on the wine’s aromatic profile depending on where the wood is from, volume, the drying time of the staves, or how toasted the staves are. The influence on the selection of indigenous yeasts that favour a greater presence of the typicality and varietal character of the Mencía grape.