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Cuatro Rayas ‘resurrects’ the centennial yeasts of the Verdejo cradle

Cuatro Rayas takes stock of the results of the first year of ‘Longverdejo’ from the evaluation of the data obtained in the field after the harvest and through the organoleptic analysis of the first elaborations corresponding to the study, for which autochthonous yeasts selected from underground cellars of Valladolid and Segovia

This archaeoenology and R&D project by Cuatro Rayas -which seeks to increase the longevity and aging capacity of the Verdejo variety- is carried out in collaboration with the Research Institute of Vine and Wine (IIVV) of the University of León and is co-financed by the CDTI with FEDER funds

La Seca, November 5, 2020.- The cooperative Bodega Cuatro Rayas advances in the development of the ‘Longverdejo’ project, an initiative that under the title of ‘Study of the longevity of the Verdejo variety in the DO Rueda through soil management, vineyard management and archaeoenology ‘, seeks to improve the longevity potential of Verdejo wines based on different and innovative soil and plant management strategies, selection of native yeasts and implementation of new environmentally friendly viticulture techniques – such as new fertilization and control methods ecological phytosanitary – to increase its commercial useful life and the possibility of using the wine for aging.

Once the project has reached the halfway point – which has already completed its first year and has allowed the development of a complete study cycle: from the implementation of the management strategies of the vineyards selected for the trial itself to the vinification of the fruit of these plants – , those responsible for ‘Longverdejo’ are currently evaluating the results obtained both in the vineyards corresponding to the project -with the taking of images by remote sensing procedures that allow to check the evolution of the vegetative state of the vines from a zenith perspective- and in the winery itself, where the first elaborations have already been processed with the grapes obtained from these vineyards and a selection of native yeasts recovered from underground wineries located in La Seca (Valladolid) -locality known as’ the cradle of Verdejo’- and Aldeanueva del Codonal (Segovia), -where the oldest Verdejo vineyards of the DO Rueda are located- and which belong to so cooperative viticulturists of Bodega Cuatro Rayas.

José Martín del Campo, head of the Cuatro Rayas Vineyard department, highlights from this first year of the study the exceptional work that has been carried out in the vineyards selected for the research process, in which they have been developed in an adequate and monitored manner. the different ecological treatments, in order that in the current analysis phase the results of each one of them could be identified in a differentiated way on the own crop under test. This same attention and exhaustive control have been applied to the harvesting processes, which have been carried out in a manually selected way and in drawers under the supervision of the winery’s technical team. The balance of results of the fertilization and the ecological phytosanitary control on the ‘Longverdejo’ vineyards has been very positive, with an excellent response regarding the health status of the plants and their evolution.

Once in the winery, the grapes harvested in the vineyards selected for the project have been processed in a differentiated way with specialized machinery for small-volume winemaking. The boxes from the study vineyards have been kept for a few hours in a cold room to control the temperature of the fruits; then, all the bunches have passed through a manual selection table with specialized personnel, to reach a press that has extracted the must by pressing inertis . The fermentation of these musts has been carried out in an individualized and differentiated way: separate vinifications have been made from the grapes from plants that have received the vineyard treatments with commercial yeasts and, on the other hand, pilot vinifications with the Yeast strains from the underground wineries selected last year in La Seca (Valladolid) and Aldeanueva del Codonal (Segovia) with must from the same plot but with conventional vineyard treatments in order to check how they express their character in the wines.

Once the fermentation process is finished, these vinifications are being analyzed at the organoleptic level with the collaboration of the IIVV of the University of León to define the aromatic profiles obtained in the different samples and their aging potential, in such a way that those responsible for the project They are very satisfied with the differences appreciated in the wines with respect to the traditional elaborations.

Roberto L. Tello, winemaker at Bodega Cuatro Rayas, explains that the next phase of ‘Longverdejo’ goes through the continuous control of the evolution of these elaborations under study, as well as identifying which treatments and yeasts have offered the most interesting results to follow. working on them. With this information, the next phase of the project will be passed, repeating the yeast isolation samples in underground cellars to identify new strains of interest and continuing with the application of innovative treatments in the field so that, after the harvest in 2021, the results can be compared. results obtained in different vintages and to be able to extract conclusive results.


Bodega Cuatro Rayas leads the ‘Longverdejo’ project, in which the Research Institute of Vine and Wine (IIVV) of the University of León also participates -as a subcontracted entity- with the research group of Dr. Enrique Garzón. The initiative has a global budget of € 599,006.36 and is co-financed by the CDTI with ERDF funds from the European Union through the Multi-regional Operational Program for Smart Growth 2014-2020. ‘Longverdejo’ has an expected duration of 36 months, between September 1, 2019 and August 31, 2022.

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