Earlier this year we got to visit the beautiful Casa Pasión in Spain where we met with the Campo Viejo winemakers. The experience was incredible and although we all felt like professional winemakers by the time we left, we thought we would ask the real pros for some top tips for us wine newbies.
For those of us who aren’t familiar with wine, can you talk about the process of how we get from grape to glass?
It’s a big question and the answer can be very simple or very complex. To answer it, I am going to take the liberty of using the words of Jamie Goode and Sam Harrop in their book “Authentic Wine: Toward Natural and Sustainable Winemaking”, which fell into my hands a few years ago and which I highly recommend to anyone who likes the world of wine, which provides a wonderful, perfect and comprehensible description of the magic that takes place from the vineyard to the glass:
“Wine is a wonderful gift from nature. The vine sends its roots deep into the living earth. They struggle in search of water and nutrients, in communion with the unseen but vital world of soil microbes. Above the ground, the vineyard teems with life. A large community of grasses, herbs, and wildflowers supports a complex array of insect life, and the vine, with its verdant canopy, sends out its flowers and produces a crop of grapes. The attentive grower watches over this process and almost feels the energy of life in the air, tending the vineyard sensitively and with a light hand.”
He continues, “During the warm days of summer the grapes ripen to the point that when the seasons begin to change and autumn is arriving. it is time to begin the harvest, not too soon and not too late. There is a time for everything. Listen to the vineyard, and it will speak to you; you will know when to act. The grower knows that these grapes contain within them the full potential of the wine that is to come; it is the winegrower’s job merely to bring out that potential, to let the story of this place- the vineyard-be told with clarity in the wine. But it is an important and skilled job nonetheless. In the cellar, the winegrower works sensitively, doing all that is necessary to avoid failure but being careful not to do too much lest the fragile essence of terroir be lost. Patience and restraint are required in equal measure. Leaving the wine to tell about its place is almost an act of faith; the grower allows the whisper of the vineyard to steer the direction of the wine. Finally, the wine is bottled. It tells a story, first of that place, and second of that year. It is unique. It is special. Wine, that wonderful gift of nature”.
What is particularly special about the region where the Campo Viejo Limited Edition bottle is produced?
Rioja is a unique region located in the north of Spain. In my opinion, diversity is what makes Rioja so special, diversity of soils, aromas, flavours and expressions, and I believe that it is perfectly reflected in this Limited Edition. In this amazing terroir you can produce most of the wines you can imagine, and that to me, is extremely special.
Is there a special fact about Campo Viejo that wine lovers should know?
Campo Viejo is a lovely match between tradition and forward-looking winery. Our roots are deep in tradition, but with a great and creative team always searching for a new approach to winemaking to produce exiting wines every vintage. I would encourage them to discover it and to let themselves be surprised by Campo Viejo.
What is your ideal meal to enjoy a glass with?
Simple can become extraordinary. Even the most simple meal can turn into something unique if you share it with your beloved ones and a glass of Campo Viejo. Let’s take the time to enjoy, to taste, to smell, and to share.
What should wine newbies keep in mind when drinking Campo Viejo?
No protocols to comply. They should keep in mind just to enjoy, savouring each experience in moderation, because only through responsible consumption can they truly enjoy its unique flavours and aromas. We craft our wines with the hope that people can enjoy them and taste what can be produced in this beautiful part of the earth where we live.
Do you have any tips on choosing wine in restaurants?
Today wine lists could be overwhelming in some restaurants. My advice is that we need to make peace to ourselves. If you are not an erudite in wines, that is completely fine! There are no silly questions in wines, because it is perfectly normal not to know all about it. When in doubt, ask for advice to a sommelier or to the person who is attending you, I’m pretty sure that you will get to a good experience.
Wine should be easy, let’s keep it like that!