Spain has pioneered organic winegrowing in Europe. With over 100,000 hectares now farmed organically, the trend has gathered speed in recent years, mainly due to the Castilla-La Mancha region where 50% of vineyards are now organic. It is little surprise, therefore, that the trophy for the top organic wine should go to one of the region’s vineyards. And the recipient is the small family-run company Palarea with its 2017 red wine.

The estate is located in the Chinchilla mountains at 900 metres above sea level. Surrounded by oak trees and aromatic plants including rosemary, thyme and lavender, Bodega Palarea has remained an authentic, family-owned winery. “The cellar is a rustic building in a rural, unspoilt setting”, explain its owners. “Natural materials were used to build it, but cutting-edge winemaking technology also played a part”. The producers are intent on keeping a close eye on every stage of the winemaking process.

“Receiving this international accolade is a huge satisfaction for us because it recognises all our hard work and our desire to do something good for the environment. “

The significance of organic

The winery has been producing organic wines for several years now and attaches a lot of importance to this production method. “It is essential for us to act as custodians of the environment by avoiding the use of pesticides and chemicals that are harmful to people. Receiving this international accolade is a huge satisfaction for us because it recognises all our hard work and our desire to do something good for the environment”. In the vineyard, loose limestone soils provide the requisite ingredients for growing varieties such as Cabernet-Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and of course Spain’s iconic varietal, Tempranillo.

2017 Palarea

This year’s accolade went to the 2017 vintage of Palarea. It is a wine showing aromas of flowers and red fruits with soft, spicy roasted coffee tones. Maturation is also pivotal to the profile of the wine, which spends 15 months ageing in French oak casks followed by 24 months in bottles. “The finished wine is rounded and balanced on the palate with good freshness due to the altitude of our vineyards”.