Ontinyent – la Vall d'Albaida
Bodega La Encina, located on the border of the provinces of Alicante and Albacete, is one of the first important wineries in the Valencian country to be awarded the ecological certification. More of that, the vines are cultivated entirely according to the recommendations of biodynamics and the lunar calendar. Here the terroir lies on a plateau at 680m which receives an influence from the Mediterranean. It is hot in summer and cold in winter, an ideal climate for the vines, which are planted in sandy-clay soil.
Jose Maria is over 80 years old, let's stop there, it's already disrespectful to him, so much freshness emanates from the master of the place. As a child, José Maria helped his father, who made wine that can be considered natural, and in 2007 he started making wine under the name of La Encina. The vines have been certified ecological since 2001, and biodynamics has been applied since 2013. In 2018, Carlos the nephew of José Maria joined the vineyard and launched his own line of wines, Llunavins, in the purest spirit of the house.
A visit in the vineyards confirms a viticulture that respects living things, a sine qua non condition for obtaining wines that can withstand the absence of added sulphites. In winter the vegetation is maintained to protect the roots from frost and provide a habitat for local fauna, in summer it is reduced to avoid water competition with the vines. The dry climate avoids any synthetic chemical inputs, the only inputs are organic with the spreading of six tonnes of manure per hectare every three years.
The vines grown are autochthonous and thousands of years old, Monestrell (Moudrève de Sagunt), Grenache and red and white Forcallat which, when grown without irrigation, produce between 1.5 and 2.5 kg per vine. The wine is aged on site with indigenous yeasts, without additives, in three to six 1000-litre vats per day during the hand-picked harvest. La Encina produces young and long-keeping wines in white, red, rosé and orange, vermouth and ancestral, single-variety wines as blends.
Vineyard certified ecological by the CAECV (Ecological Agriculture Committee of the Valencian Community) number 1769 E and the Agricultural Council of Castilla-La Mancha number 190 P.
LLunavins Orange 2019
White wine Forcallat blanc 100%
Alcohol content: 11,8% Vol.
Dry white wine using the orange method (with maceration) from Forcallat blanc, a cousin of the Airen grape variety which has almost completely disappeared and is kept on a small parcel of the vineyard of 300 vines which are between 70 and 80 years old. The plot is located in the surroundings of Caudete, on the borders of Villena and the Font de la Figuera.
The harvest: the grapes were cut by hand and transported in boxes of 15/20kg.
The winemaking: pressing of the grapes without the stalks, 25 days maceration on lees and fermentation with autochthonous yeasts. Three months in second hand barrels. Without filtration or clarification.
The sommelier's notes: it's a rare wine, not only because of its grape variety but also because of its winemaking process. Orange wine is a white wine made in the same way as a red wine, i.e. with a maceration after crushing to recover the tannins present in the skin of the grape. Its intense character is better suited to a good meal than an aperitif.)
Recommended consumption temperature: 14°C
Consume from 2021.