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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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Vines in full bloom

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Compared to the previous year, this year’s flowers were a little late, but now the vineyards of Bodega Menade are in full bloom. The weather is behaving itself and this year’s cooler temperatures have helped to avoid any late frost and hailstone damage. To date, there have not been any brusque changes of temperature between daytime and night-time.

Ten days ago, we finished the winter pruning and clearing of vegetation. Given the climatic conditions, Marco has preferred to leave more canopy so that the vine’s sap will be able to assimilate all nutrients through its leaves. The yields we hope to achieve will, as usual, be no higher than 7,000 kg per hectare.

This year the vines have been treated twice with milk whey, as well as on one occasion with a mix of valerian (main ingredient), wormwood, wheat and other plants to prevent the attack of mites as well as other reasons.

The contribution of the renovated pollination garden and the moveable trees are starting to bear fruit in the vineyard’s insect population. This has increased by 500%; allowing us to ‘play’ with them to shorten the phenological stage of the vine and to prevent pests.

The Insect Hotel, one of the “ 100 Best Ideas”

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Bodegas Menade was recently awarded the prize for one of the “100 Best Ideas” by the Actualidad Economica magazine for its Insect Hotel. The accolades were presented to them at the Hotel Ritz in Madrid, coinciding with the magazine’s thirty-eighth edition.

The similarly named, Pollination Garden of Bodegas Menade is a great poly-specific endemic garden in Castilla and Leon which constantly blooms throughout the year. This is thanks to the use of perennial and evergreen species, in order to create a great floral circuit for all kinds of insects, aimed at entomological diversity.

Up until now, representative species have been planted from the different strata of the ecosystem. On the lower level, closer to the ground, short stemmed plants have been introduced, such as aromatic ones like lavender, sage and different types of rosemary. In the middle, there are wild roses, lavender, blackthorn, elderberry and wild brambles among other plants that have been introduced.

The plants and trees used by Bodegas Menade have been sourced from outdoor crops with root cuttings, which have a reinforced root structure system. This has been coupled with a careful process of environmental restoration in an area marked by a progressive desertification, due to climatic characteristics in the zone and cultural practices with little respect for the environment.

Although the largest Menade Pollination Garden is located close to the winery, there are also several small “hotels” on different plots on the estate. These micro-ecosystems are habitats for insects and birds and predatory birds of other insects, which are detrimental for the grapes. This is to say the floral species become “hiding places”; they improve the environmental richness and allow for a balance between flora and fauna.

The ‘Actualidad Económica’ magazine awards of the Unidad Editorial group are looking to encourage and reward innovation in companies from different sectors in Spain.

 

Promotional activities

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Springtime seems to be a hectic season for Bodegas Menade due to wine presentations and fairs taking place all over the world; as well as the participation in local events related to culture and sport.

In the first weeks of April, Menade wines will be assisting in various events in Australia.

From the 16th to the 23rd of April will be travelling to Colombia in order to introduce our wines to several shops and restaurants where a few wine and dine events will take place. A wine tasting in Oslo is scheduled on the 25th.

In Spain, the most important wine presentation will be at the Primeras Marcas event, on the 26th of April.

Sport and Culture

At Menade, we are also very busy in supporting different activities and events in Rueda. Last month, we sponsored the Cinema week from Medina del Campo where we organised a tasting of Menade Verdejo and our craft beer, La burra. This tasting was matched with Food from La Tapería, La Fragua at the Reales Carnicerías in Medina.

On the 16th and 17th of April, Bodegas Menade by Secala was the official sponsor of the IV Popular Run Sarmiento Award, which took place in La Seca during the Fiesta del Verdejo event. The competition was on a Saturday and the participants received a bottle of Menade along with the runners bag. At the end, the runners tasted our natural grape juice “Destetaniños” to help them to recover!

Once the competition was over, the participants in the Fiesta del Verdejo enjoyed a tour through our underground winery which dates from the 19th century – Menade by Secala – where along with Menade Verdejo and La Burra beer they tasted our olives and cheese.

Menade incorporates movable trees

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At Bodegas Menade we are complementing the ecosystem at our plots by adding some bushes and trees to improve the biodiversity at our vineyards, always focusing on our native species from Castilla y Leon.

Until now, we have planted representative species from the diferent stratum of the ecosystem. At the lower plane, at ground level,  some short stem species have been planted, aromatic ones as lavender, sage or diferent types of rosemary. At the middle level, we have chosen to plant wild roses, red lavander, elder, blackthorn and wild blackberries, among other varieties.

Now, the circle gets completed with some other arboreal species, as holm oak, gall oak, almond trees and sorbus. Some of these trees are mobile, meaning that they have been installed in a trolley to be able to move them easily from one plot to another so native insects and birds can be attracted.

Bodegas Menade´s aim is to create a garden with indiginous species from Castilla y León, which will be alive all year. Therefore, we have used some perennial species and a floral circuit is being developed suitable for all types of insects, looking to attract a wide entomological variety.

The creation of these micro-ecosystems will build up an habitat for the insects and predatory birds which are harmful for the clusters/bunches. That is to say that this floral species will be turn into a hiding place, improving the environmental richness and allowing a balance between the flora and fauna.

The plants and trees planted at Bodegas Menade are coming from a natural farming with trimmed roots. This is a comprehensive ecosystem; a very detailed process of enviromental restoration in a region/area known for ongoing desertification caused by the local climatic conditions and the cultural practices that were not respectful to the enviroment.

New vintage of Nosso available in the market

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Menade, the first certified organic winery in Rueda, has just released to the market the new vintage of Nosso. A natural verdejo wine without any sulphur added. According to the winemaker, Richard Sanz, Nosso´s highlight is its fineness, with some delicate floral aromas with an great ageing potential.

Nosso “is a wine from nature” as Richard describes it; through this wine you can find the true expression of the verdejo grape, from the soils and from the climate in the area of Rueda where the single plot exists. The respectful way we act at the vineyards – where no chemical treatments are applied – and the no addition of sulphur makes of Nosso a wine free of alergens, suitable for vegans and celiacs.

The vines are planted in a plot with pebbly and calcareous clay soils where – according to the winery´s philosophy – only 100% preventitive and natural treatments are used, such as herbal infusions and whey. Slowly the vines will develop a thermic memory that create a self-defense  from the external attacks of birds and insects.

The vintage 2015 was known as a good year, regarding the the climate and the healthy state on the grapes. With high temperatures and low rainfall, the grapes were smaller in size but more concentrated and, of high quality. The fermentation takes places with wild yeast and 100% of the wine is malo fermented to gain more volume and unctuous taste in the mouth, as well as exhibiting more microbial balance.

This is the third vintage that the Sanz´s sibling have launched to the market. A very special wine that has captured all the attention among the consumers and specialised media. From the total production of 26,000 bottles of Nosso, more than the 50% have been already reserved. The export market will take over 40% of the total production.

Alergen Free Wines

Bodegas Menade have certified that all of its wines are alergen and histamines free, suitable for vegans and celiacs. In this way, we reconfirm our promise to make healthy wines with a high nutritional level. We always recommend to drink wine with moderation.

La obra de Carlos Mena se muestra en Valladolid

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CARLOS MENA – Exposición (Espacio Compartido), por Agustín Espina

Supone para mí, sinceramente, un gran motivo de satisfacción personal escribir sobre la obra gráfica de Carlos Mena. Cuando lo conocí, hace ya unos cuantos años, comprendí inmediatamente que me encontraba ante un poderoso potencial creativo reprimido. Nada extraño, pues suele suceder habitualmente que, espíritus contradictorios y paradójicos oculten, sin llegar a entenderlo ni ellos mismos, y muchos menos los “Otros”, un deseo incontrolable de proyectarse espacialmente, para así de este modo, poder interrogarse y comprenderse así mismos.
A mi entender, por lo conocido hasta ahora de su trabajo, casi todo él orientado al diseño de etiquetas: especialmente circunscrito al sector del etiquetado de vinos, es ya de un nivel muy respetable. Uno de los aspectos más sorprendentes surge de observar cómo han sido solucionados sus patrones y esquemas; cómo han sido representadas o dibujadas sus figuras: esquemas lineales que han servido al artista para modelar a su gusto originales composiciones gráficas. Observando detenidamente sus trabajos, descubriremos que son el resultado de una minuciosa y detallada elaboración, producto de un análisis concienzudo de la forma, aplicado a cada una de sus piezas de estudio: esquemas muy complicados que recuerdan aquellos manuscritos realizados en Inglaterra e Irlanda durante los siglos VII y VIII, resultado de una tradición artística rica en habilidad y técnica compositiva.
En esta muestra, que Carlos Mena por primera vez inaugura, se pueden disfrutar algunas de estas etiquetas, pero impresas a un tamaño en el que se puede apreciar claramente cada uno de sus detalles; y sin limitaciones de espacio, la índole de su naturaleza creativa.
Os animo a descubrir, en ViaLab, cuan interesante puede llegar a ser la mirada de este artista castellano.

 

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Must with strong personality

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The hand picking harvest will be made by visual selection and part of these clusters will be crushed and destemmed gently and individually to obtain the natural yeast of Menade to be “contaminating” the remaining tanks in order to start with the alcoholic fermentation.

Once the grapes have reached the winery, any drastic changes on the temperatures will be avoided, as our aim is to respect and maintain their thermic memory. We are very proud and confident having a type of yeast with a strong personality marked by its unique characteristics.

Each plot will be vinified individually always depending on the soil characteristic, orientation and its planted frame, so we can gain the most identical expression from our vineyards. There is no sulphur added to our yeast and after the spontaneous fermentation, the wines will age for a few weeks on their lees in order to give them more complexity and rounded volume.

Richard Sanz, manager and winemaker at Menade, predicts a great year as the health of the vineyards and grapes are excellent. The grapes show an optimal range of ripeness and it is likely that the wines will be slightly higher in alcohol (by around one percent). “There will be a predominance of fruity aromas versus the vegetal hints due to the good phenolic ripeness”, explains Richard.

 

 

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A hot year, more concentration

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An early harvest has been on the horizon since the beginning of the 2015 growing cycle. A year which has been determined by high temperatures and not much rain. Although the start of September brought heavy storms causing a slight delay, the 2015 harvest is now well underway.

We estimate to collect the same amount of grapes as we did in 2014, even with the qualities of the grapes being more concentrated due to the extreme heat over the last few months.

As with previous years, we have continued to do specialised green jobs on each plot. The green pruning has been performed using a more open method than usual in order to obtain the correct ripeness on the cluster yet avoiding direct sun exposure. For this reason we have left some vegetation around the vines to help us to protect the grape against the insolation.

The drought has had a positive influence in getting the grapes to a healthy state, therefore not many treatments were required. The pluviometry registered during the growing cycle has reached just half of the amount than other years – for this reason we have irrigated the vineyards more than usual but always in accordance to the vine´s need.

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Due to the extreme high temperatures, the vines have been more stressed which has brought forward the ripening of the clusters to the end of August. Sudden and drastic drops in temperatures at night time then slowed the accumulation of sugar.

The thermic amplitude between day and night is one of the main climate characteristics in Rueda, a decisive factor for the Verdejo grape variety as during the day they ripen and at night they maintain their acidity.

During this harvest, 70% of the production will be machine harvested and the remaining 30% will be hand-picked which will lead higher quality wines. According to Marco Sanz, Menade Viticulturist, “these weather conditions will give more aromatic wines, heavier in body and more glyceric”.

The asparagus season is approaching

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The asparagus season is approaching. A vegetable that is not easily matched with wine unless it is introduced with a dressing. It is recommended to serve this vegetable accompanied by something which can compensate the intense herbaceous aromas and final bitter taste commonly found in green and white asparagus. We have two options which work well in this scenario: La Burra and Nosso.

If the asparagus are green, matching them with beer is a perfect option. La Burra is a refreshing beer which is yeasty and has enough structure to be matched with green grilled asparagus. La Burra’s pine cone aroma and roasted scents are well suited to the vegetable’s flavour.

 

If your option is the white asparagus which has a watery texture, a voluminous and smooth wine or beer is a must. Nosso is ideal for this, a well-balanced wine where the acidity and bitterness contrasts well with the asparagus.

More than anything else, the most important thing is to share and enjoy our wines with our friends and customers.

International Promotion

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Once again we attended the annual Millésime Bio wine fair; a well recognised event for organic, natural and biodynamic wines from all over the world. The fair took place in Montpellier from the 26th to the 28th of January.

This year’s event, organised by the SudVinBio professional association established in 1993, was visited by 4,800 people from 14 different countries to taste only certified organic wines. Our Menade Verdejo, Menade Sauvignon, Dulce Menade and Nosso were there to be enjoyed by all.

After being in Prowein (Dusseldorf) at the end of this month we will be attending wine presentations in different cities in the US; Atlanta, Boston, Chicago and San Francisco. In April, we will be back to Europe where we will showing our wines in Ibiza on the 14th and in Switzerland on the 24th and 25th.