name="description" content="Terroir-expressing natural wine minimum intervention">

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

New Bodega

At last! 

After almost two years of searching I've finally found a bodega that meets all my own criteria, and all the legal and bureaucratic ones too! 

I still can't believe it! But I signed the lease the other day so it must be true!

Signing the contract for the new bodega

I think I’m still in a state of shock or disbelief, in a sort of existential haze, like when you become a parent or buy a new house or get a new job!

But not only that. It's even better! Because the bodega is beyond my wildest dreams! Over the last two years, as time went by, I'd been gradually lowering my expectations, and I'd ended up looking at buildings that were functional but ugly, ie industrial sheds located in horrible areas; and my basic criteria had been reduced to mere functionality, ie a minimum of space, temperature and humidity conditions, and above all licensability, which means legally and officially approved electrical, water, drainage, fire-protection, etc; and I'd forgotten all about aesthetics, visitablity, enjoyment, nice surroundings, etc.

Hence my shock and disbelief. Because the bodega we've found is a historic building right on the main street of a village not too far from Madrid, in the Gredos Mountains, and that actually used to be a cooperative winery until it went bankrupt about 2 years ago.

My New Bodega! - Front view from across the street
Side view

The space is absolutely enormous - it has a capacity of 1.2 Million liters! In the form of concrete tanks ("conos" in Spanish), about 50 of them holding about 20,000 liters each. We'll be like mice in a cathedral, as we're not planning to use any of those tanks this year. We're just going to use our own tiny artisan-sized equipment and make maybe 15,000 liters each, max!

Inside view - ground floor

I've been saying "we" because I'll be sharing the building with fellow winemaker Daniel Ramos (Finca Zerberos) who was in exactly the same position as me, ie looking for a place to call his own and make wine in. In fact it was him who found the building about a month ago. Circumstances threw us together by chance about a year ago at a blind tasting event in Sotillo de la Adrada (see this post from last year); so we got chatting and agreed then to try and find a place together to share the costs.

Inside view - upstairs
Now it's a race against time to get the place ready for the harvest, which will be in August for the Albillo grapes! And there's a LOT of work to do, as the building has been empty for two years and is very dirty; and also it doesn't comply with the latest modern legal requirements, as the installations have never been upgraded since 1958 when the co-op was built!

We have to fix the roof, put in a new toilet, paint the ceiling and walls, change the electrical cabinet and wiring, and who knows what else? We’ll find out soon enough when the inspectors from Health & Safety, Social Security, Ministry of Industry, etc come round to check it out!

Yours truly doing a bit of painting

To be continued!  :)


Please write a comment to this post.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.