OUR GRAVITY-FLOW WINERY
Life’ not only plays a vital role in the vineyards but also during all the stages of the winemaking process, from the temperature-controlled vats (used for cooling the fermenting juice) and the optimum temperature of the barrels in the warm cellar to the design of the bottles and labels. The wine we produce is literally ‘living wine from living soil’
Las Encomiendas Winery was established in 2007 after the previous generations of the family had devoted all their time and energy to the development of their vineyards. Our new generation of winemakers are very well-prepared thanks to their specific academic training in viticulture and oenology. The work they carry out on a daily basis, using their expert knowledge of modern-day agriculture and oenology, still reflects the traditional methods which have been used in the countryside for several decades.
Our 200 hectares of vineyards are located in the heart of the Tierra de Barros wine region, which is an area in the south of Extremadura with exceptional environmental conditions.
Our quality wines are the result of both the architectural design of the gravity-flow winery and the use of the latest technology in the winemaking process.
The height of the two-storey building ensures the gentle movement of the grapes, juice and wine from the upper level to the lower level. The structure, design, layout and dimensions of the winery all have the same fundamental purpose, which is to produce wine using the force of GRAVITY.
THE WINEMAKING PROCESS
All the work in the vineyards throughout the entire year is carried out with meticulous care, and our winemaking commences with night harvesting. The principles of gravity flow are present during the whole process, which consists of the selection of the grapes, maceration and fermentation at low temperatures, delestage fermentation (to extract a deeper colour), lees (sediment) stirring using the barrel rotation technique and finally the ageing of the wine in French oak barrels.
The harvested grapes come in from the vineyard on the top floor of the winery where they are processed immediately. This method of winemaking ensures that the grapes undergo the gentlest handling possible in order to prevent bruising, overheating and oxidation, all of which may have a negative impact on the quality of the wine.
Our philosophy is to handle the grapes with utmost care throughout the whole process in order to achieve their full potential in terms of colour, aroma, flavour and volume, so that when you taste the wine you will be able to appreciate all of these unique sensory characteristics.
The grape harvest is one of the most rewarding times of the year. The exact day on which harvesting commences is determined primarily by the ripeness of the grape, but we also take our previous experience into consideration when making the decision of when to start. The grapes are picked at night when the temperatures are lower and are quickly transported to the winery, so that they are not damaged by high temperatures.
The carefully selected bunches of grapes are placed into small boxes with a maximum capacity of 15kg, which ensures that they will not get bruised or damaged during transit.
We currently use the following varieties of grapes in the production of our wines: Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Tempranillo, Petit Verdot, Graciano and some native varieties which are gradually being brought back from the brink of extinction like Cayetana and Cigüentes.
Innovative crop management practices are adopted during every stage of the growth cycle of the vine and we avoid the use of chemicals. We follow the principles of biodynamics in the vineyard and we monitor everything on a daily basis.
After inspecting the vines on each plot, cluster thinning is carried out if necessary. Depending on the year and the amount of grapes on each vine, the fruit which will not ripen properly is removed to enable the vines to self-regulate fruit production by concentrating on maturing the viable clusters and individual fruit. This task is undertaken during the stage of fruit set.
Weeds are removed by hand without resorting to herbicides.
THE SOIL AND CLIMATE
The Encomiendas wine estate is located in the heart of the Tierra de Barros wine region, which is an area in the south of Extremadura with exceptional environmental conditions. Its continental climate is ideal for growing wine grapes due to the significant differences in temperature between day and night. The temperature, which drops considerably at night when the vines are in a state of rest, contributes to optimum ripening.
The infertile soils in which our vines are planted increase grape yield and also improve the quality of the grapes.
Please contact us if you require any further information about our winery, and we will be happy to assist you