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Bodegas Roda

Posted on 2nd August 2012 by ewwwebdev There have been 0 comments

Escaping the driving rain and pre-Olympic anxiety of Britain this July, Director Charles Wharton took a trip to Bodegas Roda in Rioja, where he witnessed first-hand the principles and practices that contribute to the intensity and concentration of the first class Roda Reserva.

The Roda Vineyards

To begin with, the ability to choose the best fruit from multiple vineyards is a core part of the approach, enabling Roda to produce consistently excellent wines through a process of selection, individual vinification and blending. The vineyard sites of this area, "at the confluence of the mountains and of the rivers" are diverse, and can vary greatly from vintage to vintage. Roda have turned this into an advantage; they choose the 17 best vineyards (from the 28 that they either own or have long-term contracts with) each year, in order to express the best of the terroir.


"Each grape during ripening, must capture every detail of the landscape that surrounds it, the heat of the September days, cold nights of October, the transparency of early autumn, the days as they get shorter, the north wind at sunset, the fragrance of herbs that surround it, the sensations of the ground, the darkness of the roots as they penetrate the subsoil. The little nuances of each vintage are different and our challenge is to know how to interpret and transmit them through the wine."

Crucially each vineyard cultivates old vines: their deep roots bring greater complexity and lessen the impact of drought and excessive rain from one year to the next. Three varieties, Tempranillo, Graciano and Garnacha are the perfect vehicles to express the terroir of these vineyards. Tempranillo brings power and elegance as well as aroma. Graciano has a low PH and brings a fresh, spicy edge to the blend, whilst Garnacha fairs well in the stony soils and higher altitudes of some of the vineyards. The system of training the vines allows for good ventilation of the clusters.

Sustainable farming is important at Bodegas Roda. The vineyards are surrounded by native flora and no chemicals are used, apart from a small amount of sulphur when absolutely necessary.

When carefully assessed levels of optimum ripeness have been achieved, the grapes are manually picked - 2 or 3 passes will be undertaken to ensure maximum quality.

The large vats used during fermentation

In the bodega, 17 oak vats receive the fruit of each vineyard and each is treated as a unique entity. Cold pre-fermentation maceration is followed by fermentation, and post fermentation maceration, with manual punching down of the cap. Only the natural yeasts present on the grape skins carry out the fermentation. Vatting lasts for about 18-20 days, with experts tasting each vat every day to decide when the juice will be removed from the skins and passed into French oak barrels. The state of the art winery allows for careful control of malo-lactic fermentation and stabilisation.

Cellars cut into the rock at Bodegas Roda

The barrels are aged in underground cellars cut into the rock. At this stage the wines from each of the 17 vineyards will still be unblended. The ageing time in barrel varies depending on each plot; however the usual time is between 12 and 16 months.

After this time, two different wines will be blended – Roda and Roda I.

For Roda, red berry characters are sought, with up-front aromas ready for immediate enjoyment, sweet spice notes and delicious freshness. On the palate, the red berry fruit should come through with a refreshing mouthfeel, length, silky texture and noticable depth. Roda I is characterised by black fruit, with mineral, chocolate and black plum notes. On the palate Roda I is full and complex with soft, well integrated tannins and a long finish. Both wines are released as Reserva – meaning they have been aged for a total of 3 years combined in barrel and bottle (i.e if the ageing in barrel is between 12 and 16 months, it will be aged in bottle for a minimum of 20 to 24 months.)

The 'T Cellar' of this state of the art winery

Fancy a visit to Bodegas Roda yourself? Click here to find out more.

This post was posted in Uncategorized, Great Places

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