Bodegas y Viñedos del Jalón
Bodegas y Viñedos del Jalón S.A. is a group of three bodegas within the Denominación de Origen “Calatayud”, whose production is a reference point for this region of Aragón.
In April of 1999, the famous Monasterio de Piedra was the location for the foundation of a new company, Bodegas y Viñedos del Jalón S.A., which was formed to be a driving force for the wines of Calatayud. The company was founded with investment from the major financial institutions and the Government of Aragón, through it’s Instituto Aragonés de Fomento.
Bodegas y Viñedos del Jalón S.A. couldn’t achieve it’s objectives for the production of high quality wines without access to high quality vineyards. Fortunately, the three partner bodegas, San Isidro in Maluenda, Virgen del Mar y de la Cuesta in Munébrega and San Fabian in Mara, have between them approximately 2400 hectares in production. Thanks to the efforts of hundreds of families of grape growers and to the huge advances in winemaking and technology, the wines of Bodegas y Viñedos del Jalón S.A. are continually improving and gaining recognition in the competitive international wine market.
At Bodegas y Viñedos del Jalón we have three winemaking facilities, each central to it’s vineyard area. This proximity ensures that our most precious resources, the grapes, arrive at the bodega in prime condition, without having to endure long road journeys.
We have invested heavily in modern winery equipment and installations. This investment has been concentrated on the items necessary for the production of high quality wines; temperature control, stainless steel tanks, pneumatic presses, new American and French barrels and a state-of-the-art bottling line. This investment continues year on year as we aim to achieve ever higher standards.
Bodegas San Isidro in Maluenda lies at the heart of our largest vineyard area; the valley of the river Jiloca. This is our largest winery and produces most of our wines, including our best selling varietal wines and our small production Alta Expressión bottlings. As well as housing an impressive array of stainless steel tanks ranging from 5000 to 60000 litres, it is home to our main bottling line and our laboratory.
Bodegas San Fabián in Mara is situated in the valley of the river Perejiles to the east of our region. Though smaller than Maluenda, it is equipped to create small production wines, often specifically at the request of our clients. The presence of small tanks and both basket and pneumatic presses, allow our winemakers to hand-craft wines as well us produce larger volume wines from our portfolio.
Bodegas Virgen del Mar y de la Cuesta in Munébrega is central to some of our finest Tempranillo vineyards. With this in mind, we have concentrated much of our production of Crianza and Reserva wines at this winery as well as a large proportion of our white wine production. In our temperature controlled barrel hall, over 2000 barrels lie in perfect conditions for the maturation of our wines.
Bodegas y Viñedos del Jalón has 2400 hectares (6000 acres) of vineyard, concentrated in the southern part of the Calatayud region. Our vineyards extend from the River Jalón to the north, deep into the Systema Ibérico mountain range to the south, and are centred on the river valleys of the Jiloca and the Perejiles.
Our vineyards are situated at altitudes of between 600 and over 1000 metres (2000 – 3300 feet), with the higher sites dominated by Old-Vine Garnacha and the lower sites by Tempranillo.
Of the more than 1000 hectares of Garnacha that we have in production, more than half are Viñas Viejas, planted more than 40 years ago. These low yielding vineyards are our “jewel in the crown”, providing consistently outstanding fruit, year after year, and forming the basis for many of our best wines.
Our 400 hectares of Tempranillo, planted on the lower slopes, in soils of finer texture, provides the backbone for many of our Crianza wines. The structure and aging ability of our Tempranillo wines make them ideally suited to being matured in oak barrels, both for traditional Reserva and for more modern varietal styles.
Ever since we first planted Syrah, in 1990, we have been convinced that this noble Rhone variety has a great future in Calatayud. We now have 130 hectares, planted on our poorest soils to reduce the variety’s natural vigour, with more coming into production every year.
Macabeo (Rioja’s Viura) is the traditional indigenous white variety of Calatayud and produces fresh, fruit-driven white wines, which fit perfectly with modern tastes. We have 250 Hectares of this variety, much planted as bush-vines, alongside our Garnacha in the high altitude vineyards. Alongside these varietals, we also have smaller plantings of Monastrell, as well as the international varieties Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
The northern edge of the Systema Iberico is geologically complex, so much so that the area around Monasterio de Piedra is a popular destination for students of Geology.
The high altitude vineyards to the south and east of Calatayud largely consist of slate and quartzite over sandstone from the tertiary period shaped by glacial activity. These soils, largely made up of stones and crumbled slate, are low in nutrients, well drained and planted mainly with bush-vine Garnacha.
Lower down, in the sub-valleys that feed the rivers Jiloca and Perejiles, the bedrock is more varied (including limestone and conglomerates) and the soils contain more clay, but vary from site to site. Some vineyards have a high calcareous content, while others contain high levels of quartzite stones on the surface.
The alluvial soils in the valley floors, generally have a fine texture and an absence of large stones or pebbles. These sand and silt based soils are mainly planted with international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon.
Calatayud has a broadly continental climate, characterised by warm summers and cold winters. Rainfall is relatively low (less than 350mm per year) and summer temperatures are moderated by the altitude. This altitude also contributes to the wide diurnal (day-night) temperature range of 12.5°C which provides ideal conditions for viticulture.
Average daytime temperatures range from just over 30°C in July and August to around 10°C in December and January. This moderate climate ensures a long growing season and slow ripening of our fruit, while the cool nights provide the vines with the opportunity to rest and help to preserve acidity.
Rainfall, though low, is concentrated in the early part of the growing season, with half the annual rain falling between April and July. In contrast, the late summer is usually warm and dry, interrupted by only the occasional thunder storm.