Bodega Cuatro Rayas strengthens its commitment to the organic vineyard and sustainable cultivation, moves forward its R&D&I applied to the vinification of the Verdejo variety and underpins its excellence in winemaking with a new vintage of ‘Gran Vino de Rueda’
La Seca, 7 October 2021.- Immersed in the winemaking tasks after the harvest, Bodega Cuatro Rayas evaluates the last campaign, characterised by being—according to the Vineyard Technical Director, José Martín del Campo— “a smooth, healthy and balanced harvest”.
The campaign has been short regarding the previous vintages’ records (starting on the 6 September and extending to the 2 October) and slightly later than in 2020 (when it was carried out from 1 to 25 September). The reception of the grapes at the winery has followed the schedule of the Vineyard Technical Department orderly, gradually, and very punctual, working—again, according to Martín del Campo— “like a clockwork” thanks to the coordination of the technical team and the cooperative members. The collection and delivery of the grape at the winery was carried out steadily throughout the campaign, except for a few interruptions due to the storms, which were offset by increasing the speed of the grape reception in the last days to prevent an imbalance in PH and acidity levels.
In a year of strong weather conditions (a winter of very low temperatures, favourable for the sprouting, an uneven flowering that had an impact in reducing the kilogramme per hectare, a very dry summer and a ripening period with a significant difference between night and day temperatures which guarantees well-structured and complex wines) the berries for producing Cuatro Rayas wines stand out for their excellent quality, having a yield slightly lower than in recent years, and a good health condition—enhanced with the application of environmentally sound treatments, where necessary, based on sexual confusion techniques using pheromones. In terms of aromas, according to Elena M. Oyagüe—Technical Director and Winemaker at Cuatro Rayas—, the high-quality grape portends a terpenic vintage, with very complex varietal wines, having less herbaceous but more structured and fatty aromatic potential.
COMMITMENT TO ORGANIC VINEYARD AND RESEARCH
Bodega Cuatro Rayas remains adamant in its commitment to sustainability and organic farming, resulting, despite a slight decline in total volume, in a percentage increase of organic-origin grape than in previous campaigns, with 90,000 kilos more of organic Verdejo harvested during this campaign in proportion to 2020 harvest. In this commitment to sustainability, during the weeks of the harvest, field tests have also been carried out for the ‘Longverdejo’ research progress, a study that seeks an optimal ageing of Verdejo variety through archeoenology tasks and sustainable treatments for the plants and soil (developed by the CDTi and the IIVV of the ULe), and the ‘Impact of climate change analysis in the ripening of the Verdejo variety’ (developed by the ItaCyL and the University of Palencia), projects that will enable us to move towards a more responsible, efficient cultivation that guarantees the organoleptic excellence of the resulting wines.
THE FIRST STEP OF GRAN VINO DE RUEDA 2021 VINTAGE
For the second year in a row, Bodega Cuatro Rayas has allocated dedicated machinery to process small quantities and select the best and oldest vine plots among its cooperative members to produce wines under the ‘Gran Vino de Rueda’ (Great Rueda Wine) category. Chosen by the Vineyard and Winemaking departments based on their age, these plots have been manually harvested and sorted in crates during the day and manually processed when they arrive in the winery to ensure grapes’ exceptionality for these unique wines. In this campaign, the small grape volume processing teams have worked steadily throughout the course of the harvesting period. Thus, grapes from the selected plots have gone through the vibrating selection table according to their origin. Then, the resulting must be transferred to vats made of different materials—stainless steel, oak, concrete and barrels—to produce extraordinary wines as Cuatro Rayas Longverdejo Viñedos Centenarios, Cuarenta Vendimias Cuvée and Amador Diez Verdejo Cuvée.