Spotlight on Bodegas Pinoso

Bodegas Pinoso stands in the town of Pinoso, about 56 km west of the city of Alicante, southern Spain. Pinoso is a mountainous, traditional Spanish town renowned for production of rock salt, marble and, of course, fine wine. The winery was set up as a cooperative in 1932 and now covers over 1200 hectares of vines on and around the Costa Blanca’s Alicante Wine Route. The initial union created by the founding members of Bodegas Pinoso meant that it quickly built up a good reputation for the quality of its wines and in the early years other wine producers jostled to join the cooperative and benefit from the collective viticultural advancements. The winery was expanded accordingly firstly in 1969, and later on in 1974, to make room for new producers.

Images © Bodegas Pinoso.

Further expansion followed in the 1980’s, increasing the capacity of the winery to approximately 19,000.000 litres. Pinoso became the most important winery cooperative in the province of Alicante with 650 members at one point, and efforts were made to improve quality further and also to designate winery land for use as certified ecological vineyards plots. Now there is a huge demand in the area for oenotourism Pinoso have introduced guided tours of the storage warehouses, barrel rooms and tasting rooms and also a chance to visit the stylish wine shop which stocks all of their most popular wines.

The vineyards in questions lie at altitudes of up to 600m, with largely limestone soils poor in organic material (which naturally limits the vigour of the vine). Poor soils mean increased hydrological stress, which in turn produces structured wines with intense colour and huge aromatic potential. The climate in this region is continental but influenced by the closeness of the Mediterranean Sea. There is very little rainfall (300-400 mm/year) and plenty of sunlight (2,500 – 3,000 hours of sun per year) which could spell trouble for more delicate grapes but which is naturally suited to the tough and hardy nature of Monastrell.

Considered to be the indigenous variety of the south-east area of Spain, the Monastrell grape has an enormous capacity for adapting to the extreme Mediterranean climate conditions and accounts for 75% of all vines grown in the main regions covered by the Alicante Designation of Origin. The vine itself is a rustic, upright plant, of slow, measured maturation, resulting in compact bunches of grapes, with thick skin. Monastrell grown in Alicante contains high phenolic constant and a large percentage of Resveratrol, which is an excellent anti-oxidant. Dark violet and omitting abundant spicy aromas of thyme, cinnamon and black pepper it has a pleasing profile of blackberry, black cherry, red fruit and plenty of earthy minerality.

At Pinoso one of the stars is the intensely flavoured Pinoso Cepa 50 which uses only grapes from vineyards over 45 years of age. At optimum maturation on the vine, the grapes are picked, gently destemmed and then fermented in stainless steel tanks. The Pinoso Clasico is another wine with a huge personality thanks to the big-hearted Monastrell grape and fruit selected for this wine are gathered in very low yields from old plots located in higher altitude zones. The winery is committed to extending its organic certification and is focusing on ecological wine production which they began in earnest in 1997, switching to all recycled cardboard for packaging and vegan winemaking methods to help reduce their carbon footprint.

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