lunes, 9 de octubre de 2017

Spanish Acquisition Wine Distributor (Visiting Bodegas Urbina La Rioja)



SAPNISH AQUISITION WINE DISTRIBUTOR (VISITING BODEGAS UR)

Established in 2001, The Spanish Acquisition is a specialist importer and wholesale distributor of Spanish and Portuguese wines, spirits and beer. TSA is owned and run by writer, educator and all-round wineguy, Scott Wasley. Observing a void, Scott set out to become Australia's first and resident expert in all things Spanish-and-wine. The birth of TSA coincided with the emergence of modern Spanish wine as a prominent feature of the international wine scene.

- Business: Wine Distributor
- Name: The Spanish Acquisition
- Office: (+61) 3 93491804
- Fax: (+61) 3 93470749
- Adress: post: p.o. box 12158 a'beckett st, victoria 8006 Australia
- Web: www.thespanishacquisition.com


RIOJA WINE TOURS IN BODEGAS URBINA

The family behind Bodegas Urbina has one sole objective: to make the most regionally expressive rioja alta wine possible. Using the native varieties of Tempranillo Garnacha and Viura, sourced from their own vineyards in Cuzcurrita de Río Tirón, they produce unique amture and mordern wines, each one showing its own personality.

  
- Family Winery: Bodegas Urbina is a family winery with four generations since 1870 dedicated to grape growing and winemaking. The present winery designed, built and run by the family URBINA since 1986 has been created solely to facilitate the mission of the winemaker at the time of producing fine wines. The winemaking for commercialization dates from 1870 and performed in ancient underground Cuzcurrita drafts.

  
- Own Vineyards: Bodegas Urbina has 75 hectares of native varieties of Rioja, whose sole purpose is the quality of their wines. The wines are a combination of grapes from Cuzcurrita, the westernmost part of the DOC Rioja; It produces wines with great aging potential, fit for the Gran Reserva and Uruñuela vineyards located in the heart of the appellation produce wines of great consistency and body, very nice.

  
- Limited Production: Bodegas Urbina has the capacity to produce 300.000 bottles of red Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva and 50.000 bottles of White and Rose grapes from their own vineyards, which are grown under traditional practices, not using herbicides and limiting use of pesticides and fungicides. The cultivation is done in low-trained (vignes basses) and trellis, and does not force the production, not exceeding the 4,500 Kgrs. / Ha. Within the production capacity, wines are selected in order to be labeled as Urbina.


- Business: Winery
- Name: Bodegas Urbina
- Adress: Calle Campillo, 33-35, 26214 Cuzcurrita de Río Tirón, La Rioja (Spain)
- Phone: 941 22 42 72
- Web: www.urbinavinos.com

  
ABOUT THE SPANISH AQUISITION (BEST WINE DISTRIBUTOR IN AUSTRALIA)

- The Portfolio: Today's portfolio represents The Spanish Acquisition team's selection of Spain and Portugal's best 40-odd producers. Now, when they say Spain and Portugal's best, they do so with a caveat as to style of selection. Their wines are almost exclusively based on native Iberian varietals, avoiding the internationalising of Spain. They select wines which are both fruitful and authentically savoury and European - elegant, long, balanced, delicious wines are their go. Dried out super-traditional things don't get a look in here either.


- Temperature Controlled Shipping: All of their wines are shipped in temperature-controlled containers at 13 degrees Celsius, meaning that the best wines of Spain+Portugal arrive in perfect condition, every time. Less than 5% of wine imported into Australia is afforded this respect!!


- Website Pricing: This website suggests a recommended retail price. However, this is not definitive - the price you will pay is up to the many tiers and types of retailer out there. The prices listed at (www.thespanishacquisition.com) are in Australian dollars and indicative only.


- Retail Enquiries: As a wholesale business, TSA only distributes to retail outlets, restaurants and businesses with a Liquor License. They cannot sell directly to retail customers. Instead, they can work with you to establish what you'd like to purchase and either forward your order to the retailer of your choice, or make retail arrangements for you.


In the end you get exactly what you want - a case for the cellar. An exploration pack of single bottles on a theme, a tour of Spain dinner party selection, or a special bottle, whatever ... just by getting in touch with them via the Retail Query tab!!


- Wholesale Enquiries: If you'd like to stock any of the Spanish or Portuguese wines listed within the pages of the site (www.thespanishacquisition.com) and your business (restaurant, retail outlet, hotel, etc) has a Liquor Licence, TSA can be contacted via the Wholesale Query tab. They'll respond by forwarding you a wholesale priced portfolio, an account application form and we'll include you on their database so you can receive regular updates from them.

  
- Already Buying from TSA?: If you are already a wholesale customer of them, you can access a whole new world of TSA info - all of our tasting notes are now downloadable, and in addition to our regular updates, the News and Events sections will keep you up to date with stock and upcoming events.

  
TEMPRANILLO RED WINES

Tempranillo is Spain's primary indigenous variety, which is now being planted enthusiastically all over Australia. King Valley, Heathcote, Clare Valley, Margaret River ... While these plantings grow up, however, the gems reside in the old bush vines which proliferate in the high altitude regions of Central-Northern Spain.


Known by a different name in virtually every region - Tempranillo in Rioja, Tinto Fino in Ribera del Duero, Tinta de Toro in Toro ... and Cencibel in La Mancha, Ulle de Llebre in Catalunya, Tinta del Pais in Spain, Aragonez or Tinta Roriz in Portugal and many others elsewhere. Tempranillo produces, when well grown, delicious pithy black cherry fruit, with ripe but usually gentle earthy tannins - has a meaty-earthy aspect, and usually some ripe dark spices. Can be wondrously perfumed in the mouth, in the same vein as Barolo and Burgundy.


It is a black grape variety widely grown to make full-bodied red wines in its native Spain. Its name is the diminutive of the Spanish temprano ("early"), a reference to the fact that it ripens several weeks earlier than most Spanish red grapes. Tempranillo has been grown on the Iberian Peninsula since the time of Phoenician settlements. It is the main grape used in Rioja, and is often referred to as Spain's noble grape. The grape has been planted throughout the globe in places such as Mexico, New Zealand, California, Washington State, Oregon, South Africa, Texas, Australia, Argentina, Portugal, Uruguay, Turkey, Canada, Israel, and Arizona.


Unlike more aromatic red wine varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese and Pinot noir, Tempranillo has a relatively neutral profile so it is often blended with other varieties, such as Grenache and Carignan (known in Rioja as Mazuelo), or aged for extended periods in oak where the wine easily takes on the flavor of the barrel. Varietal examples of Tempranillo usually exhibit flavors of plum and strawberries.


Tempranillo is an early ripening variety that tends to thrive in chalky vineyard soils such as those of the Ribera del Duero region of Spain. In Portugal, where the grape is known as Tinto Roriz and Aragonez, it is blended with others to produce Port wine.

  
- History and Mutation: For some time, Tempranillo was thought to be related to the Pinot noir grape. According to legend, Cistercian monks left Pinot noir cuttings at monasteries along their pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. However, ampelographic studies have shown no genetic connection between the cultivars.


Spanish cultivation of Vitis vinifera, the common ancestor of almost all vines in existence today, began in earnest with Phoenician settlement in the southern provinces. Later, according to the Roman writer Columella, wines were grown all over Spain. Yet there are only scattered references to the name "Tempranillo". Ribera del Duero wine making extends back over 2,000 years, as evidenced by the 66-metre mosaic of Bacchus, the Roman god of wine, that was unearthed in 1972, at Baños de Valdearados.


It is possible that this grape was introduced to America by the Spanish Conquistadors in the 17th century, as certain Criolla varieties in Argentina have a closer genetic relationship to Tempranillo than to a small handful of other European varieties against which the Criolla varieties were tested. Despite its apparent fragility, Tempranillo travelled widely during the 20th century and, following much trial and error, has become established throughout the world. In 1905, Frederic Bioletti brought Tempranillo to California where it received a cool reception not only due to the encroaching era of Prohibition, but also because of the grape's dislike of hot, dry climates. It was much later, during the 1980s, that Californian Tempranillo wine production began to flourish, following the establishment of suitably mountainous sites. Production in this area has more than doubled since 1993.


During the 1990s, Tempranillo started experiencing a renaissance in wine production worldwide. This surge began partly as a result of the efforts of a 'new wave' of Spanish growers who showed that it was possible to produce also wines of great character and quality in areas outside of the Rioja region. One result of this has been that Tempranillo varietal wines have become more common, especially in the better-suited, cooler Spanish regions like Ribera del Duero, Navarra, and Penedès. During the 1990s, growers in Australia and South Africa started significant Tempranillo plantations.

  
- Viticulture: Tempranillo is a black grape with a thick skin. It grows best at relatively high altitudes, but it also can tolerate a much warmer climate.  With regard to Tempranillo's production in various climates, wine expert Oz Clarke notes, "To get elegance and acidity out of Tempranillo, you need a cool climate. But to get high sugar levels and the thick skins that give deep color you need heat. In Spain these two opposites are best reconciled in the continental climate but high altitude of the Ribera del Duero".


In the Ribera del Duero the average July temperature is around 21.4° Celsius (70.5° Fahrenheit), though temperatures in the middle of the day in the lower valley can jump as high as 40 °C (104 °F). At night the region experiences a dramatic diurnal temperature variation, with temperatures dropping by as much as 16 °C (30 °F) from the daytime high. The Tempranillo grape is one of the few grapes that can adapt and thrive in continental Mediterranean climates like this.


Pests and diseases are a serious problem for this grape variety, since it has little resistance to either. The grape forms compact, cylindrical bunches of spherical, deep blue-black fruit with a colourless pulp. The leaves are large with five overlapping lobes.


The Tempranillo root absorbs potassium easily, which facilitates pH levels of 3.6 in the pulp and 4.3 in the skin when it reaches maturity. If it absorbs too much potassium, the must becomes salified (increased levels of salt), which slows the disappearance of malic acid, resulting in a higher pH. The skin does not present any herbaceous characters. The grape is very susceptible to inclement weather, contracting when there is a drought and swelling when there is too much humidity. The swelling has a negative effect on quality since it affects the colour of the wine. The effects of the weather are attenuated in places with limestone because of the effect of the clay and humidity in the roots. The effects are worse in sandy areas, as well as for vines that are less than twelve years old, as the roots are generally too superficial.



- Wines: Tempranillo wines are ruby red in colour, while aromas and flavours can include berries, plum, tobacco, vanilla, leather and herb. Often making up as much as 90% of a blend, Tempranillo is less frequently bottled as a single varietal. Being low in both acidity and sugar content, it is most commonly blended with Grenache (known as Garnacha in Spain), Carignan (known as Mazuela in Spain), Graciano, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Blending the grape with Carignan makes a brighter and more acidic wine. Tempranillo is the major component of the typical Rioja blends and constitutes 90-100% of Ribera del Duero wines. In Australia, Tempranillo is blended with Grenache and Shiraz, also known as Syrah. In Portugal, where it is known as Tinta Roriz, it is a major grape in the production of some Port wines.

  
RIOJA WINE REGION

Rioja is a wine region in Spain, with Denominación de Origen Calificada (D.O.Ca., "Qualified Designation of Origin"). Rioja wine is made from grapes grown in the autonomous communities of La Rioja and Navarre, and the Basque province of Álava. Rioja is further subdivided into three zones: Rioja Alta, Rioja Baja and Rioja Alavesa. Many wines have traditionally blended fruit from all three regions, though there is a slow growth in single-zone wines.


- Geography and Climate: Located south of the Cantabrian Mountains along the Ebro river, La Rioja benefits from a continental climate. The mountains help to isolate the region which has a moderating effect on the climate. They also protect the vineyards from the fierce winds that are typical of northern Spain. The region is also home to the Oja river (Rio Oja), believed to have given the region its name. Most of the region is situated on a plateau, a little more than 1,500 feet (460 m) above sea level. The area is subdivided into three regions - Rioja Alavesa, Rioja Alta and Rioja Baja. La Rioja Alavesa and la Rioja Alta, located closer to the mountains, are at slightly higher elevations and have a cooler climate. La Rioja Baja to the southeast is drier and warmer.[5] Annual rainfall in the region ranges from 12 inches (300 mm) in parts of Baja to more than 20 inches (510 mm) in La Rioja Alta and Alavesa. Many of Rioja's vineyards are found along the Ebro valley between the towns of Haro and Alfaro.


- History: The harvesting of wine in La Rioja has an ancient lineage with origins dating back to the Phoenicians and the Celtiberians. The earliest written evidence of the existence of the grape in La Rioja dates to 873, in the form of a document from the Public Notary of San Millán dealing with a donation to the San Andrés de Trepeana (Treviana) Monastery. As was the case in many Mediterranean lands in mediaeval times, monks were the main practitioners of winemaking in La Rioja and great advocates of its virtues. In the thirteenth century, Gonzalo de Berceo, clergyman of the Suso Monastery in San Millán de la Cogolla (La Rioja) and Spain's earliest known poet, mentions the wine in some of his works.


In the year 1063, the first testimony of viticulture in La Rioja appears in the "Carta de población de Longares" (Letter to the Settlers of Longares). The King of Navarra and Aragon gave the first legal recognition of Rioja wine in 1102. Vineyards occupied the usual part of rural landscapes in medieval Rioja during the High Middle Ages (10th-13th century). There are proofs of Rioja wine export towards other regions as early as the late 13th century, which testifies the beginnings of a commercial production. From the 15th century on, the Rioja Alta specialized in wine growing. In 1560, harvesters from Longares chose a symbol to represent the quality of the wines. In 1635, the mayor of Logroño prohibited the passing of carts through streets near wine cellars, in case the vibrations caused a deterioration of the quality of the wine. Several years later, in 1650, the first document to protect the quality of Rioja wines was drawn up. In 1790, at the inaugural meeting of the Real Sociedad Económica de Cosecheros de La Rioja (Royal Economic Society of Rioja Winegrowers), many initiatives as to how to construct, fix, and maintain the roads and other forms of access for transportation of wine were discussed. The Society was established to promote the cultivation and commercialisation of Rioja wines and 52 Rioja localities participated.


In 1852, Luciano Murrieta created the first fine wine of the Duque de la Victoria area, having learned the process in Bordeaux. In 1892, the Viticulture and Enology Station of Haro was founded for quality-control purposes. In 1902, a Royal Decree determining the origin of Rioja wines is promulgated. The Consejo Regulador (Regulating Council) was created in 1926 with the objective of limiting the zones of production, expanding the warranty of the wine and controlling the use of the name "Rioja". This Council became legally structured in 1945 and was finally inaugurated in 1953. In 1970 the Regulations for Denominación de Origen were approved as well as Regulations for the Regulating Council. In 1991, the prestigious "Calificada" (Qualified) nomination was awarded to La Rioja, making it Spain's first Denominación de Origen Calificada (DOCa).


In 2008, the Regulatory Council for the La Rioja Denomination of Origin created a new logo to go on all bottles of wine produced under this designation. From now on bottles of wine from the La Rioja Qualified Denomination of Origin will no longer bear the familiar logo. In an attempt to appeal to younger wine-lovers, the long-standing logo will now be replaced with a brighter, more modern logo with cleaner lines. The aim is to reflect the new, modern aspects of wine-growing in La Rioja without detracting from the traditional wines. In theory, the new logo represents a Tempranillo vine symbolising “heritage, creativity and dynamism”. Consumers should start seeing the labels in October 2008. The Joven from 2008, Crianza from 2006, Reserva from 2005, and Gran Reserva from 2003 being released this year should bear the new label, in theory.

  
- Classification: Rioja red wines are classified into four categories. The first, simply labeled Rioja, is the youngest, spending less than a year in an oak aging barrel. A crianza is wine aged for at least two years, at least one of which was in oak. Rioja Reserva is aged for at least three years, of which at least one year is in oak. Finally, Rioja Gran Reserva wines have been aged at least two years in oak and three years in bottle. Reserva and Gran Reserva wines are not necessarily produced each year. Also produced are wines in a semi-crianza style, those that have had a couple of months oak influence but not enough to be called a full crianza. The designation of crianza, Reserva etc. might not always appear on the front label but may appear on a neck or back label in the form of a stamp designation known as Consejo.


- Wineries: In Spain, wineries are commonly referred to as bodegas though this term may also refer to a wine cellar or warehouse. For quite some time, the Rioja wine industry has been dominated by local family vineyards and co-operatives that have bought the grapes and make the wine. Some bodegas would buy fermented wine from the co-ops and age the wine to sell under their own label. In recent times there has been more emphasis on securing vineyard land and making estate bottled wines from the bodegas.

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