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Monday, 22 June 2009

Fiesta organized by BAH-Galapagos

Saturday 20 June was the fiesta organized by BAH-Galapagos along with Didesur, Altrantrán and Ecologistas en Acción in Azuqueca de Henares. There was a market, games for children and lunch cooked by themselves. The idea was to promote the projects and also to help finance a van for BAH-Galapagos.

Neither Juanillo nor I could go unfortunately, but our wine was there.

I don't have any photos showing said wine at the moment, but here's one with a beer drinker and of Juanjo (worker at BAH-Galapagos) at a stall in the market.

Monday, 1 June 2009

Organic Encounters

Saturday 23 May was the 2nd Annual Organic Event day, held in Lavapiés, Madrid. There were lots of activities happening throughout the day: tables with information, sampling of local organic products, street theatre in the plaza, guided tour of the Carrefour supermarket, nice lunch, conferences in the afternoon, and big party in the Solar to finish off with.

We set up a little table where whe gave out our leaflets and free samples of our wine

For more details on the activites see here: (in Spanish only)

Here are some photos:

Crianza 2007 (I)

Last saturday 16 May we bottled the Tinto Crianza 2007. It's 100% Tempranillo and spent 10 months in the American oak barrel that you can see in the photo below:
I think I only spilt about half-a-liter of the precious liquid (and tasted a few glasses for quality-control purposes!). In the end we got 290 bottles, which are now stored here:

We're going to start distributing them at the end of June, so we have time to print and attach the labels. This will be the first time we attach labels to our wine since the project stated 5 years ago. There are exactly 250 bottles available and we're going to number them by hand. The labels are almost ready and the creatives at
Hola Por Qué are working overtime to try and make all that text I sent them fit into a rather small label!

Technical details on the Tinto Crianza 2007:

- Grape variety: 100% Tempranillo
- 10 months in American oak barrel
- 14% vol.
- This wine will definitely improve with age. The bottles should be kept (for at least 1 year) in a place which is dark, quiet, at around 18ºC, with no smells or vibrations. Unfortunately, we can't keep the bottles in the winery over the summer as it gets too hot in there and there's too big a risk of the wine spoiling.

Sneaky tasting session

Last Tuesday 19 May, we did a sneaky, informal, semi-spontaneous wine-tasting session in La Vinícola, a wine bar in Lavapiés/Santa Isabel.

The tasters: 12 usual suspects who habitually meet up in La Vinícola of a Tuesday evening after picking up the organic veg

Raw materials: 2 bottles of the recently-bottled Crianza 2007

Results: animated and quasi-philosphical conversations; we were just about to finish sorting out the world's problems, but they threw us out at 1:00 am!

We forgot to take photos but this can be remedied by leaving a comment, which can be done by clicking on the comentarios link just below :)


Last Wednesday 22 April was the inauguration of a pottery exhibition created by Hola Por Qué and we were invited to provide the wine.

The exhibition was held in a bookstore/coffee house called Democrazy in Chueca, Madrid.

It was a really interesting event for us, good fun, and a good opportunity to promote our wines. I think we'll be doing more of this sort of thing in the future :)

Donkey Day

Last Saturday 25 April was an interesting day in the vineyard in Ambite, based around animal power. People came from Granja Cando (a winery in El Bierzo), from ASZAL, and from ANDREA .

They were going to bring a donkey but they said the vineyard was too big, so in the end they brought a horse instead.

Powerpoint presentation in the morning

Preparing the horse for ploughing

Ploughing in the vineyard

It was a great occasion for networking, chatting about all things ecological, nice lunch, and getting to know each other.
We're thinking about using a horse in the future, to replace the work currently done by a petrol-driven tractor!

Bottle-washing day

Here we can see the "semi-automated bottle-washing line", with a stategically placed bottle on the hydraulic bottle-washer!

We are almost ready to bottle the Crianza 2007. It's spent 10 months in oak and is very good (even if I say so myself!). This weekend we washed over 300 bottles that you've been returning to us these days. Recycling all the way!

When we have an exact date for the bottling, I'll publish it, in case anyone wants to come out to help.

Here are the boxes (also recycled) full of nice clean bottles, ready for filling.

Surprise visit

On Monday 6 April, we received a surprise visit from La Ortiga, an organic produce consumer group from Granada. In the morning we saw the little vineyard in Carabaña and then the two large plots in Ambite (see photos). The on to the winery, where we did some quality control on the different wines. :)

Pruning season closes

Last Sunday 5 April was the last day of pruning, as the vines have started weeping! (how do you say "lloro" in English?). This is when the vines wake up from their winter dormancy and the sap starts to circulate, and leaks out of the pruning cuts.

Well, we didn't manage to finish in time. On the one hand, it's no big deal as the vine will survive perfectly without our 'help'. Vines have been around for about 200 million years, which is a lot longer than homo sapiens! On the other hand, though it'll be even harder to prune them next year, as they'll be even longer and more firmly rooted. Also, the harvest will be less than what it could have been.

Basically, the results were:

- 3 ha well-pruned
- 3 ha recovering unpruned (there was nothing there to prune)
- 3 ha unpruned, which should have been pruned

So, 6 ha done according to plan, and 3 unpruned.

¿Why did we not manage to do the last 3 ha?

1. Bad planning. There was much more work than we thought. We didn't calculate the man-hours required accurately.

2. We didn't call for help! We should have sent an SOS to our consumers and organised an emergency pruning campaign!

Oh well - lessons learned. It won't happen again!


Hooray! We are now in the process of designing some wine labels for our wines, with the help of creatives Ana and Vicius from Hola Por Qué. These are just the preliminary designs at the moment; what do you think?

And here's another one:

The pruning continues

We've been pruning for several weeks now. In the end there was a slight change of plan and we started with the Cabernet Sauvignon plot. The going is slow and we've only managed to prune about 1 hectare (2.4 acres). Still one-and-a-half hectares to go (3.6 acres).

It's more complicated than we thought. Some of the vines are really long, some have rooted in the middle of the rows and it's very time-consuming to cut them or uproot them.



The deadline for the pruning campaign is the day the vines start to sprout, which looks like it could be at the beginning of April this year. We'll need a lot of help to finish the Cab Sauv and also the Temp. Also, we're going to have to speed up and do quick-and-dirty pruning as opposed to an optimal one!

Pruning season

Last Sunday (18 january 2009) we started pruning. This year we started with the new vineyard in Ambite which is planted to Tempranillo (picture shown above). This vineyard is a little more complicated to prune than usual, as it has lain abandoned for two years. We have to cut the vines right back to recover the shape and structure and also ensure that we get some fruit this year too.

If anyone is interested in lending a hand, and/or learning how to prune, just call us.

Wines available (as at Dec 2008)

Next Sunday (21 December) we'll be bottling and corking the wine for the December shipment, which will be on Monday 22.

If anyone wants to come to the winery to lend a hand, just call.

We have two wines available at the present time:

- "Vinos Ambiz" ypoung white '08
- "Vinos Ambiz" young red '08 ('carbonic maceration')

The crianza is nowhere near ready yet. We should be bottling it sometime in May or June 2009.

Tasting event

Friday, 5 December 2008
Off-Limits, c/Escuadra, Lavapiés

Open invitation to anyone who would like to taste some local, organic wines.

This event has two objectives:
- to vote on a name for our wine project
- to taste (and enjoy!) the just-released young red (carbonic maceration - Beaujolais Nouveau style)

Choosing a name
After five years of anonimity and mental anguish, we just can't take it any more! The time has come to choose a name, and this is time and the place to do it!

So, send your suggestions:

- as a comment to this article;
- or by email to;
- or by SMS to 687-050-010

We'll draw up a short-list with your suggestions and hold the vote during the tasting.
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