Requena’s Cuevas De La Villa

Tarantas in Requena PlazaNot far from the Bodegas Iranzo winery lies the charming town of Requena, Spain – one of the primary towns of the Utiel-Requena D.O. region. The town is a historical center for wine production, with a system of Moorish caves used for wine storage found underneath the city.

The 22 caves of Cuevas De La Villa, located underneath the picturesque Plaza de la Villa, Requena Caves Vesselsare from the Muslim period, from the ninth to the thirteenth centuries. The caves were discovered, emptied of debris and interconnected by tunnels in the 1970s. Some caves have wine storage jars, in others there is a well, a silo and an old ossuary (bone depository). During the process, three truckloads of bones were removed from the caves and relocated to the community’s graveyard.

Calcareous materials extracted by drilling and extracting tuff clay subsoil underground were used to build the village’s homes, particularly their clay mud walls. Many homes within the city have their own caves that serve as a storage cellar, directly underneath their primary structure.

Sandalias del Neolítico de Albuñol (M.A.N. Inv. 595 y 596) 01Cultivation of the vine and the consumption of wine in the Utiel-Requena region go back to the Iberian era in the seventh century B.C. One ancient method used in wine production was the maceration of grapes by men wearing sandals made of Esparto grass — the same grass depicted on the Spartico label.Spartico in vineyard

Bodegas Iranzo is keeping the history of the region alive with their Tarantas and Spartico organic wines, capturing the essence of Spain in every glass!

 

 

 

Esparto sandals photo credit: Luis García (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandal)

Introducing Spartico Certified Organic Spanish Red Blend with No Detectable Sulfites

SPARTICO-500We have recently released the 2015 Spartico red blend, USDA Certified Organic with No Detectable Sulfites. The full, rich wine is a 50/50 blend of Spain’s most prominent and popular Tempranillo grape as well as Spanish Cabernet. It’s available at fine retail outlets nationwide including Whole Foods Market.

The luscious wine truly captures the pure expression of
the grapes, without the use of any additives, including sulfites. It took several years to perfect a winemaking process that would create a quality and stable wine without the use of any added sulfites in production. The wine is made with the finest grapes, harvested by hand, in pristine conditions. Spartico is fermented in steel tanks, un-oaked with no aging, then sealed with twist cap to keep out unwanted, potentially spoiling oxygen. The wine is juicy, smooth and tangy with a tannic finish.

The wine is elaborated by Bodegas Iranzo winemakers Francisco Gabaldón, Professor of Enology at Spain’s oldest School of Enology, and rising star winemaker Raul Herrero.

Spartico front - contains no detectable sulfitesWhat is Certified Organic Wine?
All Bodegas Iranzo wines are Made with Organically Grown Grapes, but most have a small amount of sulfites. Wines labeled as “Certified Organic” contain no added sulfites. Bodegas Iranzo has developed a proprietary method to ensure the wine’s stability without the use of sulfites in production.

artisania espartoThe name Spartico and the label design are derived from the word Esparto, or Esparto Grass. For centuries Esparto Grass has grown alongside Spain’s vineyards, providing various forms of life sustenance (woven tapestry, coverings, papers) for the grower families. Spartico wine celebrates the venerable union of terroir and man — a biodiversity between Esparto and Spaniards— that has lasted through the ages.

 

 

 

Strawberry Sparkling Rosé Sorbet

One of our judges, Caroline Edwards of chocolateandcarrots.com created this luscious Strawberry Sparkling Rosé Sorbet using our Tarantas Sparkling Rosé wine. Enjoy!

Strawberry Sparkling Rosé Sorbet  Rose-Sorbet

Ingredients

  • 1 medium banana
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 cup strawberries, washed and hulled
  • 1/4 cup Tarantas Sparkling Rosé wine

 

How-To

  1. Blend the banana, maple syrup and strawberries together in a blender. Stir in the rosé and pour into a freezer safe container.
  2. Freeze until solid (about 2-2.5 hours), then serve.
  3. Serve with a glass of chilled Tarantas Sparkling Rosé.

Servings: about 2 cups of sorbet

Judge - Caroline Edwards HeadshotCaroline Edwards is a wife, mom of two young boys, self-taught baker, photographer, recipe developer and blogger. Shortly after graduating college with a degree in mathematics and computer science, she began her blog as a way to share recipes with friends and family. The main focus was and still is to make recipes that are better for you. Her sweet tooth has her constantly craving healthier desserts and making living a healthy lifestyle a priority for her and her growing family. What started as a hobby, Chocolate & Carrots has grown into a success and has given her the opportunity to share her love of baking and photography. As a side, Caroline also own a newborn and family photography business in Charleston, South Carolina where she and her family reside.

Why Organic Wine?

Racimo_bobal_PERFECTOSimply put, we believe that the purity and quality of grapes grown organically make the resulting wines a true essence of both the terroir and country, resulting in a taste of Spain in every glass.

Old Meets New
9Tarantas Wines are produced by Bodegas Iranzo, which produces some of Spain’s Oldest Estate Bottled Wines. Since 1994 Bodegas Iranzo has exclusively produced wine from organically grown grapes making the winery one of the oldest-established vineyards in Spain to apply this European Organic regulation. Bodegas Iranzo is one of the first bodegas in Spain to be certified EU organic and the FIRST bodega in Spain to receive USDA National Organic Program certification. The winery is based in the quaint town of Requena, just a stone’s throw from the modern city of Valencia. The wines are produced in a historical setting using modern technology, resulting in wines that are a pure expression of the grape.

Tarantas Tempranillo Crianza - montageWines Made with Organically Grown Grapes Must be:
-Made with 100% organically grown grapes, grown under supervision of an organic certifying agency
-Produced without excluded methods including most conventional pesticides, fertilizers, synthetic ingredients, ionizing radiation, or sewage sludge
-Sulfur dioxide (sulfites) may be added to yield less than 100 parts per million in finished grape wine (for comparison, raisins have 500-2000 ppm sulfites)

Traditional artisan wine making craft passed on for family generations combined with organic agriculture on lime-crusted sandy soils within a National Reserve Park = superb Spanish wines.

Sandra Taylor, an internationally recognized expert on environmentalSandra Taylor sustainability, and founder of Sustainable Business International says, “Having tasted several of the Tarantas wines from Bodegas Iranzo, I am so impressed with their mission of delivering pure high quality wines, made with organic grapes, to the American consumer. These wines come from grapes grown in unique organic terroir, each vineyard producing clean, fresh superior wines that are both good for the earth and delicious to taste.”

TasteofSpainContestLogoTarantas is currently inviting consumers nationwide to discover their wines through the Taste of Spain Recipe Contest. Recipes + Tarantas Wine Pairing suggestions are being taken between now and April 15 for a chance to Win a Trip for 2 to Spain! For more information and entry form visit www.tarantaswines.com/recipes.

 

Organic Wine Expert Sandra Taylor Gives Us Her Take on Tarantas Wines

Sandra TaylorMany of us choose to live a more natural, environmentally responsible lifestyle, including a preference for eating organic foods for our meals. We should add organic wines to our beverage choices and favorites.

Winemakers want to be known for making great Racimo_bobal_PERFECTO wine and increasingly organic production is the way they think leads to the best quality. I believe that some of the most interesting, dynamic, fun, and innovative wines on the market today are organic and biodynamic wines. Many wine producers don’t label them as such because they fear this may prejudice the consumer against their wines.

Some consumers tend to view wines with organic labels on the bottles in a Tarantas-Monastrellnegative light. This can be attributed to the early days when organic wines entered the marketplace, and consumers were disappointed in the taste.  Memories run deep, and consumers may worry that an organic wine might not meet their pleasure expectations.

If distributors and consumers wipe prejudices from their mind and approach these wines with a clean slate, I am sure they will discover that these organic wines compare quite favorably with their peers.

They just need to taste them!

Having tasted several of the Tarantas wines from Bodegas Iranzo, imported by Natural Merchants, I am so impressed with their mission of delivering pure high quality wines, made with organic grapes, to the American consumer. These wines come from grapes grown in unique organic terroir, each vineyard producing clean, fresh superior wines that are both good for the earth and delicious to taste.

Tempranillo and JamonThe Tarantas brand for me represents a purity and quality that will please consumers when they try the wines. These wines suit festive occasions and delicious meals. But in addition, the company wants to bring an awareness to the consumer that organic wines contain none of the pesticides and chemical fertilizers that are applied to the vines and soil in conventional viticulture. Their commitment to for offering wines to the consumer that also do not contain many of the other additives found in conventional wines. People think that wine is only fermented grapes, but in fact many other items are added and technologies used to enhance conventional wine – for color, to increase or reduce the alcohol level, for uniformity from one vintage to the next.

Tarantas Wines is also committed to producing Non-GMO Project Verified wines. The indication of non-Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) is quite important to discerning and enlightened consumers. Many consumers may not really understand what it means that an agricultural ingredient has been genetically modified, but they seek products, in this case wine, that are pleasing to taste, high quality, good value and good to the planet and to the health of the consumers.

Sandra Taylor is an internationally recognized expert on environmental sustainability, social responsibility and sustainable agriculture. Currently she is president and CEO of Sustainable Business International LLC, a consulting business that assists companies at various stages of environmental and corporate social responsibility (CSR) practice. Taylor provides innovative approaches to supply chain sustainability and strategic philanthropy. She has also studied wine supply chains extensively and is a public speaker on the world of sustainable wine. She is a wine educator and founder of Fine Wine Divas, a learning experience for women on the origins of wine grapes, geography, terroir and techniques for food and fine wine pairing. She has recently completed writing her first book on sustainability in the global wine industry.