Sunday, February 21, 2010

Bodegas Enguera - Organic Wines from the "Tuscany of Spain"

Bodegas Enguera is a relatively new winery, founded in 1999, with almost four hundred acres of vineyards spread over two areas – one in Fontanars dels Alforins and the other in Enguera, both about an hour southwest of Valencia city in the province of Valencia. While Bodegas Enguera practices organic agriculture in their vineyards only two of their eleven wines are certified organic – the Benali made with Monastrell and Syrah grapes and the Cañada Negra made with Tempranillo and Syrah grapes. Cañada Negra won a medal at the annual organic wine show in France this year –Millesime-Bio 2010. Other grape varieties grown are Garnacha Tintorera, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Verdil, a local white variety specific to the Alforins valley, an area referred to as the “Tuscany of Spain.”  

Bodegas Enguera is one of eight wineries in the Valencia region that contribute to the making of a special wine called Junts. The proceeds from this wine go to support the aid work in India of La Fundación Vicente Ferrer. The Junts label says, “40% Solidaridad, 40% Ilusion, y 20% Amistad.” Translated this means 40% Solidarity, 40% Hope, 20% Friendship. See the blogs posts for Aranleon and Bodegas des Frailes for other contributing organic wineries. 

You can visit Bodegas Enguera Mondays to Fridays from 9:00 am to 1:00pm/4:00 to 6:00 pm, Wednesdays only in the morning, Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm. 

Bodegas Enguera, Carretera CV-590, Km 51.5, 46810 Enguera, Valencia; Tel: 961 364 166; Email:; Web:

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Passionate e Organic in Italia

Mattia Barzaghi, a passionate and dedicated viticulturist and vintner, makes six organic wines and one brandy on two-hundred and fifty protected acres tucked away a few kilometers from San Gimignano in glorious Tuscany. The grapes, hand-harvested, are Vernaccia- a grape unique to the San Gimignano area and grown there for hundreds of years- and Sangiovese an ancient Italian variety. 

Of the six wines Mattia carefully crafts, four are DOCG certified meaning that the wines are made by a special process and have passed a chemical and taste review. These wines are:
Impronta – Vernaccia de San Gimignano
Zeta - Vernaccia de San Gimignano
Cassandra - Vernaccia de San Gimignano Reserva
Zingaro- Chianti 

Two of the six wines are designated as IGT, certifying that at least 85% of the grapes used are grown locally/regionally, which of course they are because Mattia only uses grapes from his organic vineyard in his wines. Mattia’s IGT designated wines are Sorriso – Rosato di Toscana  and Sciamano – Sangiovese. 

Mattia also makes a grappa –a brandy made from the pomace (skins, seeds & stems) of the grapes. He calls this Firefly – grappa di Sangiovese. 

Mattia’s wines are filled with his passion and care that he takes in managing the terroir of his vineyards and farm. For a complete experience you can stay at Il Caggio, the rural eco- accommodation Mattia runs with his artist wife Cassandra, where you can rent one of four holiday apartments, drink Mattia’s wine, and eat the organic food produced on the farm including olives, jams and meats. Cassandra designs the labels for the wines and her art studio can be found in the town of San Gimignano. 

For anyone traveling to Tuscany- this is an experience not to be missed!

Il Caggio, Azienda Agricola Zeta project di Mattia Barzaghi, Localita San Donato, 13, 53037 San Gimignano, ITALY; Tel: 577 941 501; Email: