Val•de•cuevas literally means Valley of caves, since ancient times used to store and cool wines. This cooling is essential to make the refreshing and crisp wines that this winery specializes in. Family Martín combines the most ancient know how, traditions and winemaking secrets of Rueda with state of the art techniques. The best of both worlds, you could say.
Their 100 hectare vineyard is located in the Golden triangle of the D.O. Rueda, [between villages La Seca, Serrada and Rueda] blessed with a soil that is rich in pebbles. On these soils grow the best grapes of Rueda, but at Valdecuevas they do more to ensure the best quality of their wines. It takes constant and personal caretaking of the vineyard, hard work through the year. In the cellar they vinify the grapes of each plot individually in small vats and barriques of the best and finest French oak.
Their passion and commitment to quality doesn’t go unnoticed. The 2013 and 2014 vintages got several medals: gold for the Flor Innata and silver for the Verdejo at the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles 2015, three golden medals at the Berliner Wein Trophy 2015, 92 points in the Gilbert & Gaillard wine guide, a commended at Decanter. The Martín family had high expectations for the harvest of 2015 as they are ascribed as a benchmark for quality, craftsmanship and authenticity in the sector.
In the cellar it is up to oenologue Antonio Nieto to vinify, measure, blend and taste. And taste. And taste. Until the wine is perfect. He creates four different white wines, all from the Verdejo grape.
Antonio loves everything about his job, each time of the year has its own magic. His favourite moment in the year is the harvest, because it is the goal of the fieldwork. This is the end and the yield of a year of hard work. But it is not only an end, it is also the beginning of a new vintage. This is the moment the wine is born, and it is up to him to raise it right.
This winemaker at heart likes to listen to all kinds of music, from classical to modern. But most of all he loves to train his palate, even at home. He cooks with the olive oil that the winery produces and selects the best wine for a perfect food pairing.
Valdecuevas produces all white wines, all crisp, fruity and full of character. In that way all similar, but so different at the same time:
The first wine they ever made was the Valdecuevas Verdejo, a 100% Verdejo, which brings the tradition of Rueda as a wine region to expression. The grapes come from their older and less productive vineyards to ensure an intense and high quality wine. Controlled maceration to preserve the freshness and aged on the lees to create this distinctive characteristic Verdejo Valdecuevas. Very smooth mouthfeel, balanced, persistent and long acidity.
Flor Innata is made of 90% Verdejo and 10% Sauvignon Blanc, it’s made from a blend of grapes from different plots, all located in the vicinity of the winery. The concept of Flor Innata Verdejo is a balance between classic and a modern Verdejo styles, with clear notes of tropical fruit and a high aromatic intensity. It got the medal of best white wine at the Champions Wine Competition 2015.
Valdecuevas fermentado en barrica (barrel fermented)
The best wine until now is the Valdecuevas fermentado en barrica 2013. Gilbert & Gaillard praised it with 92 points in the prestigious wine guide (2015 edition). This is the highest score a Rueda wine received at this edition, which confirms that it’s one of the best wines in its category.
Valdecuevas fermentado en barrica is made of 100% Verdejo, fermented in French oak barrels for 7 months on its lees. The grapes are selected at the optimum ripeness for the highest aromatic expression.
The newest wine they make at Valdevuevas is something unique. It is a frizzante wine, made from the juice of partially fermented verdejo grapes. To make this wine, they stop the fermentation early. The result is a refreshing, fizzy drink with low alcohol and sweetness of its natural sugar, which balances perfectly with the acidity.
Besides the vineyard they also own a 140-hectare olive grove, where they produce their tasty olive oil. The dedication and passion they show when making their wines, can also be seen in the production of their oil. To keep total control on the whole production process, they have built their own oil mill in middle of the olive grove. This way they ensure the quality because they can press the oil as soon as the olives are ready to avoid olive oxidation.
In five years Valdecuevas wants to still be at the top of the Rueda winemakers. They have the ambition to make the best wine ever, made out of Verdejo variety. Maybe with some hints of Sauvignon Blanc and some slight tones of the finest french oak, a “special cuvée”.