Bodegas Darien- Darien Winery in La Rioja

“Best of Wine Tourism 2009 ” Award in architecture

I had the opportunity to visit this beautifully modern Bodega/winery right
outside of Logroño.  Darien Winery is a medium-sized winery with three- to four-year-old vines surrounding the premises, but most of its harvest is done in the Rioja Baja region.  There is also a restaurant with stunning views and a ceramic art collection that contains one of the most important European Traditional Ceramics collections, with art items dating from the 12th to the 20th centuries.

We tried the Darien Selection 2003 red wine, which is composed of the grape varieties: 68% Tempranillo and 32% Mazuelo (Carinena).  It is aged in new French oak barrels, giving it a nicely balanced, slightly porty red wine.  Robert Parker, a well-known enologist, gave this wine 90 points out of 100.  Priced at about 16 Euros, this is a bargain for a wine that ranks up there with some of the best French wines in the market.

Espergura or debudding of Vaso and Espaldera style of Vines, La Rioja

Around the end of April, beginning of May, is the time of year that this is done in vineyards in Spain.  An espergura, or debudding, is the cleaning of the vines; this basically means selecting which shoots to keep and then removing the rest.

In this case, we did this to a vaso-style (goblet)type of vine, a vine that is common in La Rioja.  In this case, this vine was over 50 years old.

In this next video, we did a debudding on a espaldera style of vine.  When you have this style of vine, it is done differently from the vaso style vine as Professor Pedro Balda explains.

Special Thanks to Pedro Balda for showing our class how to properly de-bud these vines

The reason for espergura is to reduce the chance that unwanted shoots take vigor and productivity away from those buds and shoots that were left at pruning time to produce the crop for this year. This is what we did at Finca La Grajera about 8 km from Logroño, Spain.  This vineyard is owned and operated by the Government of La Rioja.  Participating in espergura work was part of my Viticulture course at the University of La Rioja.

Es una limpieza de troncos. Se separan a mano los brotes que surgen en el tronco, y como además se habrán desarrollado plantas espontáneas entre las cepas, se hace una labor al suelo de gradeo.

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