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In 1998, Rosalie Molina and her husband Manolo Garrote had a vision to revitalize winemaking in their home region of La Mancha. They envisioned a return to the basics of organic grape growing and natural wine making and the simplicity of their ancestors. Purchasing a small estate in the sub-denomination of Manchuela, they soon grew their holdings by purchasing plots of old vine Grenache and Bobal surrounding the winery. Today they've come from 6 hectares to 60 hectares of vines all of which they farm organically. A family estate, Manolo manages the vines while Rosalie works in the cellar.
Located at nearly 1,100 meters above sea level, the estate's altitude makes it unique. Along with its dry climate, this makes organic viticulture quite easy. Cooler temperatures and nearly constant winds keep disease and pest pressure low while arid conditions limit vegetation. Cooler temperatures means that their harvests are some of the latest in all of Spain, beginning in mid-October for the whites and typically ending in late October for the reds. They can even make a natural ice wine harvested in January when conditions are right. These late harvest dates and the abundant sun during the growing season produce wines with concentration, fine tannins, and bright acids.
Winemaking in the cellar has been simple from the beginning. All of the wines ferment with native yeasts. Sulfur is rarely added and only at bottling. The wines are not clarified or filtered. The wines are typically released 2 years after the vintage as the natural process takes time and cannot be rushed. Natural winemaking is definitely a rarity in this part of Spain where commercial viticulture once dominated and, while greatly diminished, is still intact. But where others saw only quantity, Rosalie and Manolo saw the opportunity for great quality. With a goal of showcasing their unique terroir and traditional wine making techniques, Alto Landon shows why we should be paying more attention to the wines of Manchuela.
Grapes are harvested by hand from certified organic vineyards. Fermentation occurs in stainless steel after a 2 day cold soak. Fermentation on skins lasts around 30 days after which the wine is racked to 2nd and 3rd use French oak barrels for 4 months. The oak softens the wine and does not overtly alter the character. The wine is then racked back to tank where it stabilizes in the cold cellar through the winter. Bottled without fining, filtration, or sulfur.
FOOD PAIRING: grilled sausages
ORGANIC. VEGAN. LOW SULFITE. FEMALE WINEMAKER.
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