Bodegas Jose Pariente
When people think of Spanish wines, they typically imagine full-bodied red wines made from Tempranillo grapes.
Bodegas José Pariente, however, located in the Rueda region of Spain, stands out for its white wines. Run by a brother and sister duo, these young, up and coming wine makers are proving themselves in a competitive field through dedication, research and belief in their goal.
The Bodegas traces its lineage back to the 1960s in Rueda, a white wine region of Spain, when grower José Pariente began crafting his own wines. He was absolutely meticulous when it came to his vines and wanted only to produce the best possible white wines. He passed his passion on to his daughter, Victoria Pariente, who founded Bodegas José Pariente in 1998.
When Victoria Pariente was ready to retire, she left the vineyard to her children, Ignacio and Martina. Ignacio oversees the business operations and Martina focuses almost entirely on the winemaker.
While they, and their vineyard, are young in an old wine region, they see that as a benefit, as they are willing to try new things and experiment in order to move their business forward. They are both interested in the innovation required achieve this in the modern era and are always looking for new technologies and new ways to make wine. For example, in 2015, they commissioned several R&D studies in viticulture and winery management in order to streamline their business model while utilising their natural resources more effectively.
Inspired by their grandfather and mother, the siblings have already advanced their winery and aim to stay at the forefront of innovation for many years to come.
Bodegas José Pariente is known throughout the region for producing fine, consistent wines with very little fanfare. It is one of the most technological producers in Spain, with Martina and Ignacio particularly interested in the research and development side of things and how that can assist them in making their winery better and better.
The vineyard produces five white wines each year, three of which are made from Verdejo grapes and two Sauvignon Blanc wines. Each year, the winery produces almost 500,000 bottles of wine, which is very impressive for such a young winery.
Bodegas José Pariente is located between the towns of Rueda and La Seca and has an altitude of 750 metres with a continental climate. The land on which the vines are planted is poor in organic matter and has a gravelly soil, as well as a clay and limestone subsoil. This is actually beneficial to the grapevines, as nutrient poor, well-draining soil will force the roots to dig deeper into the ground in order to find purchase and enough nutrients, which in turn causes the vines to be more stable.
About 75% of the grapes harvested are macerated cold and vinified in stainless steel tanks. Of the remaining 25%, some is fermented in barrels, while the grapes that are destined to be their Cuvee Especial are fermented in cement eggs.
These cement eggs, which recently have become ever more popular in wineries, come in two different sizes: 6 hectolitres and 16 hectolitres. Their new-found prevalence among winemakers is due to their oval shape, which allows for a continuous flow around the fermenting liquid, resulting in a more consistent, homogenous end product. The walls of the cement eggs are also thick, which provides insulation and helps to keep the temperature stable during the fermentation process.
It’s no surprise that Marina and Ignacio take advantage of the cement eggs, due to their interest in the latest wine making technologies, and are attempting to advance their vineyard to be on the forefront of the region’s wine production with such innovative techniques.
One of Bodegas José Pariente’s defining features is that they are unafraid of incorporating the latest technology into the production process, while maintaining some of the traditional ways. This gives their wines both more consistency, as well as a definite sense of place for the drinker. Their wines are definitively from Rueda, which is exactly what Ignacio and Marina want the consumer to realise.