A native to the Canary Islands, Carmelo Peña Santana worked in Chile, the Douro, and Bierzo before settling back in his native Gran Canaria and starting his personal project "Bien de Altura." His goals are to contribute to the recovery of abandoned vineyards in his area, to respect the terrain and work in an ecological and biodynamic way, and interpret the land, focusing on making the best possible wine that can come from each plot. To this end, everything is worked in a very artisanal way in the cellar: native yeasts, de-stemming by hand, and judicious use of SO2; temperature control is employed for some wines and long macerations with little extraction are preferred. The wines are not clarified or filtered, and all work is done manually, from harvesting, bottling, labeling, etc.
Gran Canaria is the 2nd most populous of the volcanic Canary Islands after Tenerife, hosting Las Palmas - 1 of the 2 capitals of the islands, along with Santa Cruz de Tenerife - and peaked by Pico de las Nieves at 1949m elevation. It’s considered desert climate due to its consistent warm temperatures and minimal precipitation (9 inches/year), and has extreme variations in climate and landscape. Carmelo focuses on the upper area of San Mateo just northeast of the peak, where there are old vineyards at 1200 meters altitude and higher.
The Wines Ikewen Tinto is made from high elevation pie franco vineyards facing northeast and southeast, planted in the volcanic soils that make up most of the Canary Islands. The grapes were hand-harvested and macerated 40% whole cluster, 60% destemmed for 40 days, then gently pressed into steel tank to finish fermentation and age for 8 months. The finished wine was bottled unfined, unfiltered and with very little added sulfur.