Nothing beats first-hand knowledge when selecting the finest wines for your table. Our Farmshop colleagues had the privilege of visiting Vegalfaro Winery in Valencia this month, for a behind the scenes tour led by owner Rodolfo, Kristina and Catina.
Vegalfaro Winery is located in the province of Valencia on the eastern coast of Spain, in the region of La Plana de Requena-Utie. They farm 60 hectares of land split into three separate vineyards based on the quality of soil, the microclimate and the grape varieties. The vineyard is situated next to the archaeological site of Las Pilillas, an Iberian wine production factory dating back to the seventh century BC. Vines have continued to be cultivated in this location for centuries, alongside cereals, olives and almonds.
In 1999 Andrés Valiente built Bodegas Vegalfaro to bottle his own wines, with the help from his son Rodolfo. Previously, his great grandfather Leonardo made wine in his cellar and his grandfather, Joseph, was an Orujo distiller – winemaking certainly runs in the family! In 2011, Vegalfaro received the qualification Pago, which is considered the highest ranking of a vineyard in Spain, rating a wine’s characteristics and quality, comparable to awards in other European countries such as Chateau, Cru, Domaine and Clos in France, Castello in Italy and Quinta in Portugal.
Their land, and their winemaking processes are certified with the seal of Organic Agriculture. All of the wines Vegalfaro produce are organic and vegan. Their pesticide free approach is evocative of a time honoured and traditional approach to wine making. They use natural copper sprays and pheromones to make sure their crops are kept insect free, and are always researching new ideas to stay pesticide free. During the fermentation process every bit of the grape is utilised. Any excess that is not at the standard required for wine is turned into Grappa which is supplied to local restaurants.
“The Rebel. Ila Ganarcha from the Vegalfaro estate is one of our most popular wines and so it was a great pleasure to be taken around the estate by Rodolfo, the owner.” explained our Farmshop Buyer, Alex.
“He is justly proud of the winemaking heritage of the region of Spain and the breath taking beauty of the Solano de Las Pilillas National Park in which the best of his wines grow. It was awe inspiring to see the terraces and grape treading basins carved out of massive limestone boulders by the Iberians in the 7th century B.C., then toast his ancestors over a glass of his delicious Cava under the baking sun.”
A flock of goats and sheep roam free in the fields surrounding the vines to fertilise the vines naturally. They are one for the few wineries that still employ a shepherd and sheepdog to keep their mobile fertilisers in check!
Vegalfaro’s ‘Rebel.lia’ White and Rose wines have been made exclusively for us. They are the perfect accompaniment to their award winning Red, aged in Hungarian oak for about 4 months. Find them all in our Farmshops now!