Vino de la Tierra, Castilla y La Mancha
The Montanchuelos estate, which lies in the Campo de Calatrava near Ciudad Real in Castilla y La Mancha, south of Madrid, is home to Bodegas Calar. These lands between the Mountains of Toledo and the Sierra Morena have been settled since the Bronze Age, Carthaginians, Romans, Visigoths and Muslims have each left their mark here, but the most remarkable feature of the land is far older, lying as it does at the edge of an enormous crater of the long-extinct Calatrava volcano. The bowl, or circular plain, is easily 40km across and the centre has its own fertile terroir resulting from millennia of run-off from the surrounding hillsides. Here cereal and olive groves abound, but the thin rim of rocky slopes, with a unique and complex blend of quartzite and slate, are where the best vineyard terroirs are found, and Bodegas Calar combines the best of both of these.
The estate itself was first mentioned in 13th century archives as one of the most productive mixed arable farms, with cereal crops, olives, and vines providing wealth for successive generations. After the Napoleonic Wars, Montanchuelos was awarded in recognition to one of Spain’s most illustrious victors, General Palafox.
With an average altitude of 650 meters above sea level, the climate of this region is classically continental: cold in the winter months, hot in the summer, with extreme temperature fluctuations between day and night all year round, and just 400mm of annual rainfall.
Juan José Moreno Alarcón, a successful businessman, was originally from La Mancha and acquired the estate late in life, to return to his family’s origins. His daughter, Sagrario Moreno, now develops what her father started, accompanied by her husband Paco and son Manuel. In 2005, the family created Bodegas Calar on the estate, planting once again 100 ha of Cencibel (Tempranillo) vines in order to make the most of the huge quality potential of this historic winemaking region. The last 10 years have seen great success in Spain and now the owners are working to develop international sales.
The Bodegas Calar team is well aware of the historical and cultural importance of the estate and of their role as custodians of this heritage site. Everything possible is done both in the vineyard and the winery to respect the environment and to produce the best wines they can: calm and constant vineyard husbandry, attentive manual work, low yields, and the integration of some of the latest winemaking technology.
The arrival of winemaker José Carlos García Vega in 2012 marked an important new chapter in the Calar story, as he brought his skills and experience from Ribera del Duero where he also worked alongside Mariano García, Spain’s greatest living winemaker, at Bodegas Aalto. The wines have quickly confirmed their own unique identity, deep and fruity with a distinctive minerality reflecting the black and red volcanic soil the vines are planted on.
|Ábrego, Bodegas Calar, VdT de Castilla, 2012|
|Ábrego, Bodegas Calar, VdT de Castilla, 2013|
|Calar del Río Mundo, Bodegas Calar, VdT de Castilla, 2012|
|Calar del Río Mundo, Bodegas Calar, VdT de Castilla, 2013|