The Valencian oenologist Víctor Marqués champions one of the most outstanding quality wine projects based on respectful viticulture, within the Requena-Utiel region. Specifically on the road that connects Las Monjas with Casas de Pradas there is a hamlet known as Casa Lo Alto. The location of the manor house and the winery is on top of a hill -hence its historical name- in the center of the vineyards and at an altitude of 750 metres. The different orientations and inclinations of the plots create the conditions that have differentiated this singular vineyard since its foundation in 1796.
CASA LO ALTO
The current project is based on organic farming with sustainable viticulture practices with the environment, in which the 150 hectares of the farm are considered as a whole, in which life in the almond crops and the pine and carrascas interacts with the vineyard. These 150 hectares are divided into 60 hectares of Bobal, Garnacha, Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Chardonnay vineyards and 30 hectares of almond trees, surrounded by 60 hectares of forest that make the place a unique setting.
The climate is continental, with a slight influence from the Mediterranean Sea with major variations between daytime and nighttime temperatures that favor the accumulation and refining of tannins, affecting the wines’ structure and longevity.
The territory rises from the Rambla de Albosa, an old riverbed on which rainwater runs occasionally between the gentle hills of the Venta del Moro. In general, these are brown soils that draw their colour from the organic part, rich in clay minerals (Illite and Kaolinite), and from the inorganic fraction proceeding from the calcareous bedrock, which is sedimentary, formed by carbonates, especially calcium. The Illite and Kaolinite are two minerals from the class of sheeted clays resulting from the alteration of other minerals, such as micas and feldspars. Seen under a microscope, illithids can be found forming honeycomb structures, while kaolinites form aggregates.
The management of the vines’ cultivation is environmentally respectful avoiding the use of synthesised chemical products. The fertiliser is organic, of animal origin, and features biodynamic preparations to avoid interfering with the soil’s mesobiota and macrobiota and for the purpose of revitalising the soil and infusing it with biodiversity.
The production system is characterised by minimal intervention, so that the vineyard’s qualities are fully expressed, using harvesting and ageing systems to obtain the greatest possible typicity.