02 Oct “Graciano is the grape with the most character; Maturana, the most difficult to work with; and Tempranillo from the single vineyard, the most special”.
Tempranillo, graciano, maturana, viura… Each grape variety fulfils a fundamental mission: to provide character, nuances and identifying textures. Over the years, at Bodegas Dominio de Berzal we have made and continue to make different coupages until we achieve a perfectly balanced proportion in each wine.
Currently, at Bodegas Dominio de Berzal we work with different varieties. In the case of reds, Tempranillo -with 90% of our entire production- takes the lead. This grape is the most representative of the Rioja Alavesa area and is identified with the identity of the wines from this area, fruity with mineral nuances.
In addition, we also work with Graciano in 7% of our production. It is a grape that gives us nerve and, when blended with Tempranillo in our Crianza, it gives the wine a point of acidity and a very interesting tension in the mouth. “I sincerely believe that Graciano is the grape with the most character, and that’s how it gives the wine its character”, says Íñigo Berzal.
Closing the reds chapter, we also work with maturana, a grape that is similar to cabernet, so we use this grape to make our 7 Varietales wine, achieving a very original coupage. It should be noted that this grape is particularly complicated to work with, due to the difficulty of knowing its optimum ripening point, which during the last few weeks tends to vary a lot depending on the weather.
As for the white varieties, the queen is Viura; we work with 90% of this grape, as it gives us that texture in the mouth that makes it a very good variety for ageing wines. It also works very well when blended with the Malvasía variety for younger wines.
Another white grape that we work with, although in a percentage of only 3%, is Garnacha; with it, we make our single varietal wine Parcelas Garnacha Blanca.
In addition to the traditional varieties, Bodegas Dominio de Berzal has a plot with several rows planted with different experimental varieties. These are: cabernet, merlot, syrah, garnacha, graciano and pietro picudo.
From this plot together with the plot where the Maturana variety is grown, we make our 7 Varietales, a complex and different wine, with a limited production of 1400 bottles per year, made with 40% Maturana, 10% Graciano, 10% Garnacha, 10% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Syrah and 10% Prieto Picudo.
If there is a special grape for the Berzal family, it is the Tempranillo grape from the singular vineyard, privileged by its soil, structure and orientation, it provides the grapes from its vines with exceptional conditions to create this singular wine: Las laderas de José Luis.