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T: +34983103223 Ctra. Rueda - Nava del Rey, Km 1 (VP 8902), 47490, Rueda, Valladolid, España. GPS 41º 24´ 09.35" N, 4º 58` 53.13" W

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Wines to fall in love with

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Reactions to our presentations of the 2016 Menade wines are proving most positive, as is the response to our new label designs. Thank you so much everyone!

Spring in Spain kicks off for us with an appearance in Seville on March 30th at Vinos de España, una pasión

We’ll then be smartly off to Sweden to show our wines in conjunction with Moestue at the very end of the month and from there, from on April 3 and 4, we’ll be part of Coenecoop’s annual portfolio tasting in Holland – to afterwards zip across to the Emerald Isle and be with our friends of Le Caveau from the 5th to the 7th

After Easter we’ll be at the Vinarius Tasting to be held in Oslo’s Gamle Logen and then, from April 20th thru 23rd, go on to again support our friends of Delinat at Stuttgart’s SlowFood Fair while in between times also exhibiting our wines on the 22nd and 23rd with VitisVin in Kent, Belgium.

Following this, from April 28th thru May 6th, we’ll be in Taiwan for a spell with New Lifestyle Wines, showing our wines across a broad spectrum of their client base closely followed by our regular appearance at Fenavin, in Ciudad Real, from May 8th thru 11, which attracts professionals and importers from all over the world. Come and see us at Pavilion Virgilio, 14 – Stand 7.

Finally, the end of May sees us touring Massachusetts, Louisiana and Georgia with our US importers

European Cellars and then its back to the Old World for a spell with our Swiss distributors Vintra from June 5th thru 9th.

Wine Tourism

The Spring is the ideal time of year to visit us at Menade and, taking advantage of the hopefully nice seasonal temperatures, we’ll be participating in la Fiesta del Verdejo in neighbouring La Seca from the 28th thru 30th of April as well as in the one day Jornadas de Maridaje de la Ruta del Vino de Rueda on April 30th in nearby La Giralda de Castilla (Matapozuelos, Valladolid) where we’ll be preparing a special rice fest to welcome the impending summer. We’d love to see you there so simply follow us on the social media for further info.

The cycle of Life

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Having, in the interests of biodiversity, established our insect hotels, adopted the rhythm of applying treatments based on aromatic plants and flowers, installed a sizeable pond and – with our mobile tree project in full flow and teaching us ever more about the eco system –  we are delighted to tell you that animal life has now arrived at Menade.

Yes indeed, in a similar vein to our many insects, only bigger: hens, geese, and donkeys… Menade is now buzzing with life, as we decided that it was appropriate to complement our environment by re introducing what man had displaced.

Two of our newest residents are a charming long haired couple from Zamora: Zamo and Rana, a rare breed of donkey in danger of extinction. Friendly and sociable, not only do they unfailingly express gentle interest in our many visitors and make everyone feel happy but are so at ease with their new surroundings that Rana is already pregnant! Our insects like them too and their organic droppings are an excellent natural fertilizer.

Zamo and Rana are closely and constantly accompanied and observed by a clutch of busy, clucking hens who also keep a noisy and beady eye on absolutely everyone who comes and goes and seem to be in perpetual motion; and on a practical level they reluctantly provide us with the most fantastic fresh eggs.

The Menade Farm  – we shall tell you about our geese next time  – is therefore already on the way to becoming a pleasing natural habitat for both fauna and flora to co-exist and flourish harmoniously and it goes without saying that we are already considering further and diverse additional residents.

Life abounds.

New Vintage of Nosso

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Nosso diehards are not surprisingly all in a flurry as we released the new vintage a few weeks ago and it’s going fast!

2016 was a year of extreme summer heat, but we are very pleased with the results: more discreet, aromatically, than heretofore, it’s very refined with notes of white flowers and gentle lactic attributes fused with alluring elements of caramel and toffee but lacking neither the characteristic vivacity nor fresh acidic zip of our emblematic Verdejo.

Creamy too with the excellent satisfying mouth feel that makes it a bit special and quite different to anything else produced in our region.

Whereas we normally harvest our grapes at night when the temperatures are surprisingly low, the grapes for Nosso are invariably picked when the sun is at its zenith, as we like to ferment it in the most extreme circumstances possible – hot and dirty – in order to burn out potential oxidation from the word go; and, despite being natural and entirely sulphur free,  its eventual malolactic ensures microbiological stability (as does rigorous clarification) so that this tasty expression of our terroir reaches its growing worldwide fan base in perfect condition.

nosso

World Tour to present new vintage

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In 2017 we will be unveiling our new vintages in France at the Millésime Bio – one of our favourite Fairs – so please come and visit us from January 30th through February 1st. The venue will be at Le Palais Phocéein de Marseilla, zone 2 – stand 468.

In February a quick flit across the ocean will take us to the 11th Expo for Vinos de España in México. We will wait for you at the Torre de Virreyes in Mexico City on the 21st of February.

March will be a hectic month with dates in Japan, Belgium and Germany. From March 7th through 10th Foodex in Japan will be taking place. 2016 saw great sucess for us in Japan, and we are delighted to be featuring in the ICEX section on this fair. Seek us out within stand 1C03.064.

Etikhove in Belgium will be our next international wine Tasting. On the 17th and 18th of March our wines will be shown at the Degustation Thienpoint Wine event. Closely following will be maybe the biggest of them all; Prowein in Dusseldorf from March 19th through 21st.

In Spain we will be presenting our wines in different provinces, so please keep an eye on our social media. Barcelona and Madrid are the first cities where our wine tastings will take place through Primeras Marcas (our Spanish distributors).

Mobile trees

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At Menade, in addition to the multitude of natural viticultural measures and practices that we’ve instituted over the last few years – many based on age old practices – as part of our continuing efforts to complement and improve the estate’s ecosystem, we’re delighted to give you a little insight into our ongoing mobile tree project.

These are planted on trailers some 3 metres high, so that they can be towed out into the very different parcels of the vineyard and we can study their environmental impact – in other words, how, in the interests of further biodiversity, they might benefit the eco system.

We are currently trying out cherry, peach and almond trees in addition to different sorts of herbs such as thyme and rosemary; and, further, in some instances, we affix bee panels in order to study their effects at different times of year – for example to encourage pollination during the flowering season.

The aim of this (we think!) novel experiment is to ultimately plant different parcels of our vineyards with those varieties that prove most beneficial and adaptable and harmonize rather than restructure the many components of our living landscape.

This means that in addition to delving into the exact nature of root systems and the depths that they attain in order that there be no conflict or competition with the roots of the all important vines, we also need to figure out which soil types and what temperatures best suit the various varieties of trees and plants as well as the diverse reactions of the complex insect world.

We release vintage with new image

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At Bodegas Menade, we have wanted to add further value to our philosophy by changing the design of the labels of our wines. These labels symbolise our respect for our eco-system and environment, as well as our profound love of the land.

We would like to express the natural aspects of our project. This project is changing constantly and emphasises, at the same time, the natural aspects of our wines. We have chosen four animals represented by Carlos Mena´s design, which we can easily find in our vineyards at any given time of year. These four little creatures represent the Castillian landscape and are also important for maintaining the balance in our eco-system.

We have also wanted to include the origin of our grapes, with which we make our wines, on our back labels. This includes the unique aspects of our vineyard estates. We ferment the different plots separately, as we would like our wines to express the soils of the area, thus resulting in a wide range of aromas.

The first of them is the snail for this natural Verdejo, Nosso. It is a snapshot of the earth, as well as of our vineyards.

For our wine, Menade Verdejo, we have chosen a hare, an ancient inhabitant of the vineyards. This animal is alive, refreshing, astute and entertaining… all adjectives which remind us of this, our flagship wine.

The whippet is our chosen image for Menade Sauvignon, elegant, slim and distiguished.

Dulce Menade is a typical Sauvignon Blanc varietal wine, pleasing, affable, just like the hedgehog, which is the animal we have chosen for this wine. They do, however, have a certain personality of their own and the resulting wine is lively, with good acidity.

 

La Misión

Made with Verdeja, La Misión comes from 100 year old vines planted in vineyards with mainly sandy soils. Once alcoholic fermentation starts spontaneously in stainless steel tanks using wild yeasts, the wine finishes fermenting and is partly aged in 500 litre French oak barrels. The other part is aged in tanks or pipes of 5,000 and 10,000 litres and also in ‘tinajas’ (traditional clay fermenting vessels) of different sizes made with clay sourced in part from the Menade vineyards. This has been a return to the earth and to our origins. After 10 months aproximately of ageing, La Misión is bottled and rests for a minimun of two years in bottle.

The Bodegas Menade project started in 2005. Wine, however, has been flowing through the veins of the Sanz brothers for six generations. Brothers, Marco and Richard Sanz made wine 35 years ago with grapes sourced from some 100 year old vineyards planted in Pollos, a family property. Virtually from the start, they could see that the Verdejo from this estate was different from other Verdejo grapes.

Eight years ago, they acquired the family vineyards and decided to start to re-graft all their vineyards entirely with ‘Verdeja’ as it was known locally, using Masal selection. This ‘Verdeja’ displays distinctive morphological traits: the berries are smaller, the bunches more oval in shape and it is more resistant to diseases such as botrytis thanks to its thicker skin. Its aromas are the true expression of Verdejo. They tend to be more rustic, but at the same time more genuine. Analytical parameters reveal acidity levels are higher and the grapes are more concentrated.

From day one, Menade’s philosophy has been based on a more natural approach to wine growing. The winery’s accumulated experience over the years has led to a more authentic way of growing grapes, where the final wine’s personality is key.

‘Rutas del Vino’ Awards

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For the first time, Menade has been chosen as a candidate for the wine tourism awards ‘Rutas del Vino de España’ which ACEVIN (Asociación de Rutas del Vino de España) organises every year. The two categories the winery is opting for are ‘Social and Environmentally Aware’ and ‘Best Winery open to Tourism’.

The first of theses categories evaluates the ‘actions carried out by a member establishment or service provider of a Spanish Wine Route, which actively and voluntarily contributes to improvements in social, economic and environmental circumstances. The second category is related to ‘quality tourism experiences and other activities related to tourist satisfaction and the promotion of wine culture’.

These awards are aimed at “encouraging work by the sector related to wine tourism in the last few years on both a professional as well as an institutional level in order to promote wine tourism in Spain”.

At Menade we are continuing to work towards creating relationships with local companies and our environment and we have prepared two very interesting activities  for the next few months. On 9th October, we will be offering our 3rd Cooking Class with Seasonal Products hosted by chef, Laín Montes and on 12th November, we will be celebrating European Wine Tourism Day with a classical fencing demonstration at the winery.

For another year, we will be sponsoring the Semana Internacional de la Música (International Music Week) in Medina del Campo,  which will be held from 7th to 13th November in the town’s auditorium. Bodegas Menade will also be present at the Valladolid Film Festival, Seminci which is part of the Cine y Video series. During this event, visitors will be able to enjoy a viewing of the short film made by Valladolid born director, Herminio Cardiel, which was filmed at Menade as part of the ‘Rueda con Rueda’ competition.

semana-musica

Important sales force presence in Spain, Poland and Asia

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During the last trimestre of the year, we will be presenting our wines at different international wine fairs and events organised by distributors. These events are aimed at promoting wines amongst the on-trade public.

Here in Spain on 7th October at 9.30pm, we will take part in the 4th Cena Furtiva de Sibaritas Klub (Furtive Foodie Club Dinner). Chef Peña opened his gastronomic space in the Valladolid Science Museum a few years ago. The different courses will be prepared by the Valladolid-based chef with Honorato Espinar as guest, Iberostar’s logistics manager and also ex-participant of the television programme, Top Chef.

On 7th November we will be in Seville to present our wines together with our distributor, Flores e Hijos to on-trade professionals. On 10th, we will take part in an event in Asturias together with Distribuciones Gayol.

On 14th November, we will be in the Palacio de Figueroa in Salamanca, serving our wines thanks to an event organised by Vendimia Tardía and on the same day, we will be at Palacio Euskalduna in Bilbao with Ardoak distribuciones.

In terms of promotional events outside of Spain, in September, our sales force will be in the UK, The Netherlands and Poland. On 27th September we have been invited to take part in the 12th Warsaw Wine Fair event. This fair will also be where Mª Antonia Fernández Daza will be offering a special wine tasting, which will include our Menade Verdejo wine.

During the month of November, we will be working in the Asian market, taking part in different fairs. From 9th to 12th November we will be at the Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair 2016, with our wines at stand 3D-A10 in the Icex hall. On 22nd November, we will be taking part in the Spanish Wine Exhibition in Taiwan and on 24th November, the Spanish Wine Exhibition will take us to South Korea.

holanda

A harvest defined by the hot weather

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The 2016 grape harvest, which has recently begun, was slightly delayed due to hot weather. The last fortnight of August and the first few days of September were characterised by the high night-time temperatures and the lack of rain. Despite this, the last few days’ rain has helped the grapes to slowly finish ripening and we started to pick the Sauvignon Blanc grapes this week.

One of the unique aspects of our climate is the great temperature changes between day-time and night-time temperatures. Night-time temperatures tend to be low and help to keep acidity levels of the grape musts as well as colour and aromas.

Basically, we need to choose the right moment to harvest the grapes in order to make quality wines. This is when phenolic ripeness (pips and skins) and alcoholic ripeness (sugar content) of the grapes are perfectly balanced. Due to the heat this year, there were more accumulated sugars and as a consequence, more alcohol by volume. This means that this year, the tasting of the grapes prior to picking has been essential in order to choose the ideal moment for bringing the grapes in.

Even though it doesn’t seem this way, 2016 has been a complicated year. The most difficult part according to Marco “has been how to combine natural vineyard treatments with irrigation, whilst still keeping a check on temperatures and the phenolic cycle of the vine. At Menade, we have irrigated since the flowering of the vines due to the hot weather, just like most wineries in the Castilla y León region. “There will be higher yields than last year, despite the bad fruit set during flowering due to the great quantity of bunches.”

“This year, we have had to carry out several green prunings. We have not done any tip removal at all in order to maintain new leaves which are responsible for photosynthesis and absorption of nutrients which the plants need. Due to the high temperatures, it was necessary to leave enough canopy so the grapes did not turn to raisin. We raised the wires at least three times, precisely to achieve more shade on the bunches and to aid the effectiveness of the sprays,” says Marco.

Powdery mildew and mildew were the main diseases which had to be ‘dealt with’. Marco continues to say that “this year, we have had to spray more often than last year. It has been a complicated year. Powdery mildew was caused mainly by the high temperatures and the morning dew, as well as bad decision making about watering at the least suitable moments”.

Bodegas Menade is dedicated to sustainable farming methods based on the observation of our environment. For this reason, if we saw any evidence, we quickly sprayed against these two main diseases just before flowering. Good observation techniques, coupled with deep knowledge of the vineyard and timely preventative methods are the best allies when it comes to achieving a good harvest.

Canada and USA, our focus for the next few months.

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During June and July we have been presenting our wines in California and Canada. We would like our distributors to get to know our winery’s philosophy first hand as well as the way we make our wines.

We started our tour in San Francisco, California, on 27th June and on 2nd July we travelled further to offer a series of training meetings with customers. We continued to Canada between the 3rd and 12th July, first in Alberta and then in Quebec.

During the month of August, the Menade team will take a break and will be back on tour in September in the US, in Texas and Florida to be exact. On 25th and 26th September, we will be taking part in the Wereldse Wijndagen 2016 (World Wine days 2016) in Waddinxveen, to support our importers, Coenecoop Wine Traders. This event, in its third year, brings together more than 120 wine producers from around the world every year and is attended by the hotel and catering industry together with wine professionals.

On the other hand, Warsaw will be our destination on 27th September, where we will be taking part in the 12th Wine Fair in Poland and we will visit some of Winoko’s, our importer’s, customers.

In Spain, we recently attended Vinum Nature in Barcelona, which like every year, has also announced this year’s award-winners: both Menade Verdejo 2015 and Menade Sauvignon 2015 have achieved a Golden Leaf (Hoja Dorada).

The summer festival calendar is highlighted again this year by sports events where the winery is involved, true to the ideal of supporting a healthy way of living with wine in moderation being a fundamental part. On 31st July, we will be sponsoring the Vuelta Ciclista (cycle race) in La Seca with mountain bikes, whilst on 18th September, we will be celebrating the Menade Prize, for another year, the Vuelta Ciclista at Medina del Campo.