El Regajal Winery Is Madrid’s Finest
Home To 77 Butterfly Species
By: Philip S. Kampe - Feb 07, 2020
It is fun for innovative sustainable winemaker Danny Garcia-Pita of El Regajal Winery to take a much needed rest between tasks and sit in the garden of the vineyard, have a glass of wine and count the number of butterfly species that fly overhead.
If you visit this winery, also home for many weddings, the attraction is not only the wine, but, the butterflies, which obviously inspired the vineyard to choose tasteful butterfly focused wine labels for their bottles.
Since nature has always been the goal and philosophy of the winery, the winemaking facilities are underground, so, as not to interfere with the landscape of the property, which houses olive trees, fruit trees and plants.
The bodega has been home since the 1800s for the butterflies. Presently, there are seventy-seven species on the property. Many are rare.
On a recent visit to the vineyard I had the opportunity to spend much of the day with winemaker Garcia-Pita.
He is a man with vision who makes exceptional wines that consistently receive praise and high ratings. An old friend of mine, Nicola Thornton, founder of Spanish Palate (www.spanishpalate.es) arranged the visit and afternoon meal at a local eatery.
We tasted several wines in the back room of the restaurant from Nicola’s Spanish Palate portfolio.
What I learned from the winemaker was that his red wine blend proportions differ fot each vintage.
His winemaking techniques include biodynamic practices, controlled fermentation, malolactic fermentation and up to date berry selection. Both oak and stainless steel are used for aging.
New vines were planted from 1998 through 2001.
The varieties planted focused on Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Petit Verdot and Merlot. The 2,000 foot altitude property houses 40 acres of vineyards, which produce, roughly, 100,000 bottles annually. The elevated location is known for hot summers with cool nights. A microclimate is the end result.
Walking through the vineyards, it was not hard to notice the chalky top soil, which gave way to a sandy base that had clay characteristics seeping through the middle layer.
The biodynamic philosophy incorporates the idea that ‘soil is a living being,’ which winemaker Danny Garcia-Pita observes.
With all in mind and a quality vineyard miles from the Prado, it was hard to comprehend what my reaction would be to the wines. The story was enticing, but, would the wines match-up to the foreplay?
I am happy to say the two wines (several vintages sampled) from the vineyard threw me off the edge. Not only did all of the wines show well above their price point, all of the wines had the same above average quality that made your palate ask for more.
In a project with Jerome Bougnaud, Regajal produces a wine that uses grapes from in and around the Ribera del Duero region. Higher altitude, along with microclimates insure the success of the grapes used in the projects wine, Galia. The hand picked assortment from Castilla y Leon include Tempranillo (87%) Garnacha (9%) Albillo (4%).
Look for any vintage of El Regajal wines and you will experience terroir driven wines that are medium to full bodied, fruit driven and food friendly with a long finish.
Try any El Regajal wines with the butterfly image on the bottles and see if you agree me.
El REGAJAL Seleccion Especial
Las Retamas del REGAJAL (French oak)
GALIA (Castilla y Leon) French oak