The Berarte winery is located in Villabuena de Álava, the heart of Rioja Alavesa, a privileged region of the D.O.Ca. Rioja for the cultivation of the vine and the production of quality wines. The Berrueco family has been in the wine world since 1970, when the current generation’s grandfather began to market the first wines from his own vineyards. In the 14 hectares of their own vineyards and they produce quality organic wines within the Rioja Qualified Denomination of Origin.
The main variety of grape in the vineyards of Bodega Berrarte is Tempranillo. It is a thick-skinned grape that ripens early and grows favorably on calcareous soils, which is precisely the predominant type of soil in our vineyards. This grape naturally provides low acidity, and therefore the precise moment of harvest is key in our winery to achieve a good level of physiological maturation without losing too much acidity, necessary to achieve well-structured wines. Our vines are glass pruned and we control their yields in order to obtain healthy grapes, of good quality and with an optimal level of maturation. The harvest is manual, which allows them to select the grapes directly in the vineyard, rejecting any grapes that are not very mature or do not meet the quality conditions that the winery requires.
The grapes arrive at the winery a few minutes after being harvested, which guarantees the reception of the grapes in perfect health and quality. Once in the winery, the grapes are destemmed but they are not crushed. Alcoholic fermentation takes place in concrete tanks. As the grape grains are not crushed, alcoholic fermentation occurs within the grape grains, practically in the absence of oxygen, which causes the glucose in the grape must to naturally convert into alcohol. This process is called carbonic semi-maceration and produces smooth, highly aromatic and fruity wines. During fermentation, the must is pumping over twice a day to maximize the extraction of color and tannins. Once the alcoholic fermentation has finished, the grape and the must are discovered. The grape remains are pressed and the must goes to closed tanks where it undergoes malolactic fermentation. This second fermentation consists of converting the harsh malic acid into the pleasant lactic acid, softening and reducing the acidity of the wine.
Once the vinification has finished, the wine is ready for its preparation either to proceed to its bottling as a young wine or to prepare it for aging. In both cases, the wine is clarified in order to eliminate suspended particles and sediments, which, if not eliminated at this time, could appear in the form of sediment or turbidity once the wine is bottled. The clarification of the wine is done by racking the wine and eliminating the sediments that naturally precipitate by the effect of gravity (larger particles such as grape skin remains), or by using clarifying agents that help to precipitate smaller particles that do not precipitate by if alone due to the effect of gravity. A next step in the refining and clarification of the wine is the filtering of the same through the use of special filters. After these processes, the wine is bottled for consumption as a young wine or is placed in oak barrels for maturation or aging. During the aging process, the wine acquires tannins and toasted oak flavors, but the most important thing is the slow and gentle micro-oxidation process that contributes to adding complexity and character to the wine, softening and stabilizing its tannins.
Berarte Crianza is an organic red wine made from the property’s vineyards in Villanueva de Alava, and subsequently aged for 12 months in American oak barrels.
Intense, clean and bright ruby color. Vanilla and red fruit aromas predominate. In the mouth we find hints of licorice and toasted. Long, round finish and pleasant balance.