Envínate Real Wine from Real Folks
Envínate (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. To this end, 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, with a varying proportion of whole grape clusters included. For aging, the wines are raised in old barrels and sulfur is only added at bottling, if needed. The results are some of the most exciting and honest wines being produced in Spain today.
Táganan - The old local name for the vineyard area located on the northeast side of Tenerife. In this area, the vineyards are planted “wild” on primary volcanic rock, on cliffs just above the Atlantic Ocean. The vineyards are very old and are mix planted with many different native grape varieties. Due to the rugged and difficult terrain, all farming has to be done by hand, and harvest is usually performed with the help of animals in order to be able to transport the grapes.
Taganan Blanco This cuvee is made from many different white grape varieties native to the Canary Islands, some of them unidentified, but include Listan Blanco, Albillo Criollo, Marmajuelo, Gual, and Malvasia. The parcels are very old and planted in between 75-300 meters elevation right on the Atlantic Ocean and are farmed by 15 different families and Envínate. The viticulture in the Taganan area of Tenerife is very old-fashioned: the vines grow untrained, the soil is worked by hand, and no chemicals are used. The wine is fermented with wild yeasts by parcel, with some parcels getting a bit of skin contact, and then raised on the lees in steel vats and barrels for around 8 months. This is an intense vino blanco with lots of personality and notes of nuts, smoke, and sea salt - to pair with a wide variety of tapas, especially head on prawns with olive oil and sea salt or Jamón Iberico.
Parcela Amogoje Amogoje, named after a type of rock found in the area, is a small single parcel organically farmed by José Angel Alonso and Envínate. This unique parcel, which gives a glimpse into Tenerife’s agrarian past, sits in between 100-200 meters elevation just above the Atlantic Ocean. Amogoje is a mix planted site with such varieties as Gual, Listán Blanco, Marmajuelo, Albillo Criollo, Malvasia, etc. 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. According to the native Roberto Santana of Envínate, the grapes from Amogoje are harvested a week later than other vineyards in the area. The wine is fermented in 5 year-old 500 liter barrels and left on the lees for 1 year, yielding a vino blanco that is aromatic, high in acidity, amply textured, and distinctly briny. For us, Amogoje is the pinnacle of Canary Island white wines with focused, volcanic soil-inflected flavors, excellent length, and aging potential.
Taganan Tinto This cuvee is made from many different red grape varieties native to the Canary Islands, some of them unidentified, but include Listan Negro, Listan Gaucho, Malvasia Negro. The parcels are very old and planted in between 75-300 meters elevation right on the Atlantic Ocean and are farmed by 15 different families and Envínate. The viticulture in the Taganan area of Tenerife is very old-fashioned: the vines grow untrained, the soil is worked by hand, and no chemicals are used. The wine is wild yeast fermented with 30% whole grape clusters in open plastic tubs and concrete tanks; Raised in small tanks and used 225 and 500 liter barrels for around 8 months. This is a fresh and aromatic vino tinto with notes of spice, smoky minerals, and dark fruits – to pair with roasted meats, spicy foods, wild game, and the Canaries’ own red mojo.
Parcela Margalagua Margalagua, or “Mother of the Water”, is the name of a small single parcel organically farmed by viticultor José Angel Alonso and Envinaté. This treacherously steep vineyard site sits in between 150-250 meters elevation just above the Atlantic Ocean, on the north side of Tenerife. As was tradition with the very old vineyards on Tenerife, Margalagua is mix planted with many different indigenous grape varieties (too many to be named here) such as Listan Negro, Listan Prieto, Baboso, Negramoll, Malvasia Negra, etc. The vines are at least 100 years old, untrained (they grow wild on the ground), and planted on their own roots, as is typical of the phylloxera-free Canary Islands. This wine was fermented in old 500 liter barrels with the whole grape clusters included, and then raised in neutral 500 liter French oak barrels for 11 months. Parcela Margaelagua is nothing short of profound – pungently aromatic with wonderful deep umami notes, high-toned citrus, spice, sea salt, and flowers. A vertical wine to drink now or hold in your cellar.
Benje Blanco is sourced from old-vine, untrained pie franco parcels of Listan Blanco atop the western cliffs of Tenerife. Each parcel is hand-harvested and vinified separately, 60% in concrete and 40% old barrels. Maceration is 10 days cool or 40 days warm (depending on parcel) with 15% skin contact and raised 8 months without battonage or added SO2. Bottling is without fining or filtration. This a lively and delicious white wine to enjoy with your favorite Canarian recipes.
Benje Tinto is sourced from 1,000 meters elevation, old-vine, pie franco parcels of Listan Prieto (Mission) with a bit of Tintilla, named “Masca,” “La Zanja,” “Valle de Arriba,” and “Llano Redondo”, all of them located in Santiago del Teide. Each parcel is hand-harvested and vinified separately, some in concrete and some in small open tubs. Maceration is 10-30 days (depending on parcel) with daily punch-down; malolactic fermentation is in neutral French barriques, then raised 8 months in the same barrels without battonage or added SO2. Bottling is without fining or filtration. This is a pure and vertical expression of high elevation, volcanic Canary terruño with notes of red fruits, peppercorns, flowers, and volcanic soil - a beautiful wine to pair with grilled meats and mojo rojo.
Vidueño de Santiago del Teide is sourced from a tiny 0.15 ha parcel of old-vine, untrained pie franco Listan Prieto and Listan Blanco. This co-planted parcel is hand-harvested and macerated in 3 small open tubs (white, red & mixed) then transferred to 3 old 228L French barriques to age for 9 months without battonage. Bottling is without fining, filtration or any added SO2. Due to its high elevation, this wine offers much less Atlantic character than their Taganan or Valle de La Orotava cuvées. Vidueño is a volcanic mountain wine, high-toned and vibrant, with smoky fruit balanced with fine tannins and refreshing acidity.
Lousas - Is the name, in Galician dialect, or Gallego, for the type of slate soil that predominates in the Amandi sub-zone of the Ribeira Sacra region.
Viña de Aldea: Aldea means “village” in Gallego; thus, this is Envínate’s “village wine”, produced from a combination of –minimum- 60-year-old plots located in the ancient vineyard region of Ribeira Sacra. This cuvee is made up of 90-95% Mencía with other co-planted varietals blended in. The native vines are grown on steep slopes made of slate and sit in between 400-600 meters elevation. This vintage Viña de Aldea was foot-trodden in open top plastic tubs, fermented spontaneously with wild yeasts, with 40% whole clusters included, and raised in old barrels for 11 months with no racking and no SO2 added until bottling. It is a very fresh and elegant vino tinto with classic, lifted aromatics of black pepper, pomegranate, and herbs, which leads to an elegant and crystalline palate with loads of saveur, peppery tannins, and a dry finish. This is more than a village wine in our book, but a superb example of Ribeira Sacra and a wonderful benchmark for the region. 300 – 6 packs produced
Parcela Camiño Novo: Camiño Novo, or “new road”, is a small single parcel located in the prime Amandi subzone of Ribeira Sacra. This parcel faces south-east, forming a small amphitheater at 430 meters elevation. The vines are 70 years old and is made up of 90% Mencía and 10% Garnacha Tintorera. According to Alfonso Torrente, a native to the area, Camiño Novo is a significantly cooler site for the area. This parcel yields wines that are tight, ethereal, very focused, with great mineral depth, all the while maintaining the exotic floral, herbal, and spice aromatics that make Mencía-based wines so intriguing. The wine was made with 100% whole grape clusters and raised for 11 months in a mix of used 300 and 400 liter barrels. Stored well, we think this wine has many years ahead of it.
Parcela Seaone: Seaone is a single parcel located in the Doade area of Amandi, Ribeira Sacra. Once again, the soils are pure slate. The vineyard faces south-west, and the vines are very old, at least 80 years of age. This site yields wines that are upfront and very Atlantic: incredibly aromatic, fresh, floral, and spicy, with deeply mineral, cherry/kirsch fruit. The wine was fermented with 100% whole grape clusters and raised for 11 months in older 500 liter barrels. We think of this wine as the most classic example of a Ribeira Sacra wine, but with extra dimension and a bright, silky structure. Superb!
T. Amarela: Is the same as the Trincadeira grape that is commonly grown across the border in Portugal, an hour’s drive from this vineyard site, Parcela Valdemedel.
Parcela Valdemedel: Produced from the Tinta Amarela grape. Parcela Valdemedel faces north, and sits at 500 meters elevation in the village of Alange in the province of Badajoz, Extremadura. The soil here is composed of limestone and the climate is harshly continental with the high elevation playing a major role in the end wine. The grapes are foot-trodden in small plastic tubs, and fermentation begins with wild yeasts, with a short maceration of 8 days. Malolactic fermentation happens spontaneously in used 500 liter French oak barrels, where the wine will stay without racking for 11 months. Parcela Valdemedel is a beautiful vino tinto with notes of black and red fruits, aromatic herbs, and wet-stone minerality, with a freshness and vivacity rarely seen in red wines grown this far south. A revelation in Extremadura!
Albahra This wine is sourced from a single 30 year old vineyard that is divided into 3 parcels at 800 meters elevation in the Almansa region, around the town of Albacete. The grape is Garnacha Tintorera (or Alicante Bouchet), and the soils are chalky, clay-calcareous. The wine is wild yeast fermented with 50% whole grape clusters in 4500 liter cement vats, with soft pigeage and a short maceration of 7 days; then raised in cement for 8 months. The result is a remarkably fresh wine with earthy dark fruit and spice – a great wine to pair with savory dishes, like roasted meats, sausages, mushrooms, and rice dishes, like paella or arroz negro.