Essence and origin
“Have the courage to change what can be changed, serenity to accept what cannot be changed, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
01 The state
The vineyard is planted at an average height of 850 meters above sea level on a hillside perpendicular to the Duero River, which crosses the land in an East-West direction. The terrain is configured as a bowl of low rolling hills, flat in the middle of the valley and increasingly rugged and precipitous as we gainelevation.
The grapes are from three varieties: Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. We use different pruning methods: Cordon Royat double and head pruning to obtain Goblet shaped vines, two viticultural techniques adapted to the orography of the land that can also be defined as traditional viticulture (for the vines growing in the valley floor) , and montane viticulture (for vines growing in the hill slopes). For hills up to 20% slopes they are planted directly on the grade, otherwise in terraces to curve the excessive inclination.
We continue to plant vines in those areas of the orography that allow it, always endeavoring to improve and fine-tune adaptation processes year after year. To do that we mass select the clones from the bestplots obtaining excellent raw material to create our wines.
Permanently restructuring and upgrading the estate according to the tenets of precision viticulture are the foundation for our future. We have homogenized varieties in those plots where it was needed and replaced the original rootstocks for others more suited to the type of soil. We have reoriented the plots to enhance insolation, use new trellising systems… always with the clear objective of improving quality and achieve balance for the overall vintages.
All these factors, the expert work contributed by all the estate personnel working in the vineyard andour careful and meticulous wine making process are what define the “Pago de Carraovejas” as reflected in its wines.
“Look for me where the wind ceases, where there is peace or time does not exist, where in the morning the sun dries the tears of the clouds.”
The estate is located three kilometers from the town of Peñafiel, perched on the south facing hill slopes enclosing the Botijas River valley, a tributary of the Duero River. This spot enjoys a microclimate created by the soothing influence of the Duero River, the dominating Western winds and the south facing orientation of the soft rolling hills, that protect the heart of the valley from the harsh influence of the Northern winds and the damaging effects of spring and fall frosts.
The strategic location of the land, the rivers that crisscross it, the mass of the imposing rock outcrop that shelters it from the cold north winds, the protective shield offered by the massive walls of the Peñafiel Castle against hail storms, and the intervention of humans that install wind machines and irrigation systems to mitigate the effects of black frost and prevent internal freezing of cell walls… all of these factors make our vineyards a stronghold where extraordinary grapes can grow.
03 Grape varieties
“Those who have a why to live can face all the hows.”
The grapes, the raw material that powers Pago de Carraovejas are, through the selection techniques and the exhaustive checks and controls we apply throughout the ripening process, one of the pillars that supports the success and personality of our wines.
The three varieties that go into our wines, Tinto Fino, Cabernet Sauvignon y Merlot, were especially selected, from the start, because of their characteristics. Each of them requires individualized and painstaking artisanal manual care to reach optimum ripeness and health.
04 Viticultural systems
“Before giving orders to nature one has to first obey hers.”
Aforismo 129. Novum Organum
The word “viticulture” entails a complex array of decisions, some of which must be taken before planting to choose the most suitable location and orientation of the vine, the plantation framework, orientation and the trellising and pruning methods.
Pago de Carraovejas uses three different cultivation systems: Double Cordon Royat, Vertical Vase and Terraced Viticulture, in order to always seek the maximum balance in the exposure of the plant as well as in the work carried out to achieve an adequate arrangement of the clusters.
05 Field works
“For native Northamericans the land was a sacred gift from nature, offering humankind all they needed to survive. All they had to do in exchange was care for it, cherishing it for the nurturing gift it was.”
The harvested grape is the embodiment of long months of arduous and constant close work with the vines, where the efforts are aimed at limiting the production to enhance quality by viticulture practices such as dry pruning, green pruning, removal of shoots, thinning budding bunches and deleafing the vines.
These manual tasks are done in between other mechanical work where machinery intervenes for tasks such as tipping shoots with young leaves after blossoming has occurred, aerate the soil passing a tractor between the rows with an aerator tractor in some plots while in others the plant cover is leftintact. All treatments applied are done within the most ecological possible framework, soil and plant amendments, irrigation… all done according to the most modern technologies offered by integrated precision viticulture. These viticultural tasks help us define the grapes that will be harvested and its characteristics: grade, polyphenolic concentration, pH, acidity…