Envínate: Small Production Wines from the Canary Islands
Every vintage we purchase tiny amounts of wines from Envínate, a little winery grown from micro parcels in volcanic soils of the Canary Islands (and also some steep slopes of Ribeira Sacra in Galicia).
Envínate (translated into “Wine Yourself”) is the brainchild of 4 friends, winemakers Roberto Santana, Alfonso Torrente, Laura Ramos, and José Martínez. This gang of 4 formed back in 2005 while studying enology at the University of Miguel Hernandez in Alicante. Upon graduation, they formed a winemaking consultancy, which evolved into Envínate, a project that focuses on exploring distinctive parcels mainly in the Atlantic-inflected regions of Ribeira Sacra and the Canary Islands. Their collective aim is to make profoundly pure and authentic wines that express the terruño of each parcel in a clear and concise manner.
Speaking of low-intervention organic farming: No chemicals are used in any of the Envínate vineyards, all parcels are picked by hand, the grapes are foot-trodden, and the wines are fermented exclusively with wild yeasts (the natural kind, not commercially designed in a lab), with a varying proportion of whole grape clusters included. For aging, the wines are raised in old barrels, and if needed, a tiny amount of sulfur *might* be used. That’s it! Authentically, Spain.
Lousas “Viñas de Aldea” 2014
Production: 9,000 bottles
Lousa is the name for the type of slate soil that predominates in the Ribeira do Sil and Amandi subzones of the Ribeira Sacra region. The slate serves a great purpose, heating up during the daytime sun, helping the grapes ripen, and also imparts the minerality and intensely floral and spicy aromatics that are the trademarks of the Ribeira Sacra region’s wines.
Aldea means “village” in Galician dialect. It is Envínate’s goal to produce single parcel, as well, as village wines in each region that they work. This particular wine is a blend of different parcels, at least 60 years of age, planted in between 400-600 meters elevation.
Vinification: 100% whole cluster; Fermented with wild yeasts in open top plastic tubs; Raised in used 300 and 400-liter French oak for 11 months with no racking; No SO2 is added until bottling; No stabilization or filtration.
“Táganan “Parcela Amogoje” 2014
Varietal(s): Albillo Criollo, Marmajuelo, Gual, Malvasia
Production: 1,200 bottles
Táganan is Guanche (the native Canary language) for slope. It is also the name of the northwestern part of Tenerife where vines grow wild on cliffs of pure volcanic stone just above the Atlantic Ocean.
Parcela Amogoje, named after a type of rock found this area, is a single vineyard parcel, organically farmed by José Angel Alonso. Sitting in between 100-200 meters elevation, this magnificent parcel gives a glimpse into Tenerife’s agrarian past, as the old vineyards on Tenerife were historically mix planted with many different grape varieties. The vines are at least 100 years old, untrained (growing wild on the ground), and planted on their own roots, as is typical of the phylloxera-free Canary Islands.
Vinification: Fermented with wild yeasts in 500-liter French oak barrels; Raised on the lees in used 500-liter French oak for 12 months
- Táganan “Parcela Margalagua” 2013
Varietal(s): Listan Negro, Vijariego, Malvasia Negra, Baboso, Negramoll
Production: 1,200 bottles
Parcela Margaelagua (Mother of Water) sits in between 100-200 meters above the Atlantic Ocean. This single parcel is farmed organically by grower José Angel – who is acknowledged on the front label of the bottle. This vineyard is at least 100 years old and is made up of a mix of indigenous grape varieties.
Vinification: 100% whole cluster; Fermented with wild yeasts open top 500-liter barrels; Raised in 500-liter used French oak for 11 months
T. Amarela “Parcela Valdemedel” 2014
Varietal(s): Tinta Amarela
Production: 612 bottles
Tinta Amarela is the Spanish name for the grape Trincadeira, a grape famously grown just across the border from Extremadura in Portugal’s Alentejo region.
Parcela Valdemedel is a 15-year-old parcel grown at 500 meters elevation on clay-calcareous soils in the wine region of Ribera del Guadiana, within the village of Alange, an hour and a half drive from the heart of Portugal’s Alentejo region.
Vinification: Destemmed; Fermented with wild yeasts in open top plastic tubs with foot-treading and 8-day maceration; Raised in used 225-liter French oak for 12 months.