Bodegas Ayuso: Cutting-edge wine-making in Castille-La Mancha
Text: Eddi Fiegel | Photos: Bodegas Ayuso
Over the last decade, Spain has become renowned for producing some of the world’s most cutting-edge wineries. However, whilst La Rioja may still be the country’s best-known wine-producing region, the region of Castille-La Mancha in central Spain is home to one of the most modern, forward-thinking wineries in the country: Bodegas Ayuso.
“We wanted to create a winery that was eco-friendly and sustainable in almost every way,” says Fermin Ayuso, President of Bodegas Ayuso, one La Mancha’s most successful wine producers. And that is indeed very much what they have done. From solar panels in the roof and natural light provided by prisms to extend the hours of daylight, to the use of natural fuels and recycled water, energy efficiency and sustainability are a priority throughout.
This is no mean feat for a vast winery which spans 15,000 square metres, producing some 35 million litres of wine per year. These include the multi-award-winning Estola – a velvety smooth, spiced, fruity red made from the best Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes and aged in American oak casks
Bodegas Ayuso was originally founded in 1947 by the current president’s father and now comprises nearly 900 acres of vineyards near Villarrobledo, just under two and a half hours’ drive south of Madrid.
The new winery was built in 2015 and in addition to Estola, the winery also produces many other highly successful reds, whites and rosés, from high-end Reservas to table wines, including Finca Los Azares, Castillo de Benizar and Abadia del Roble.
“Our wines have a very special and individual character,” explains Ayuso. “Firstly, it’s the soil and climate here. We’re some 700 metres above sea level in a micro-climate with very hot summers and very cold winters. The dry climate produces very healthy, disease-resistant grapes, which means we have no need to use pesticides or chemicals. Secondly, the low-level acidity of the soil makes the wines very palatable and these two factors enable us to grow an unusually large variety of grapes.”
“I’m extremely proud of all our wines,” Ayuso says, “and I’m also especially proud that we’ve been able to honour traditional, artisan methods of production whilst also leading the way when it comes to sustainability.”
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