Interview with José Manuel Gallego from the winery Tobía

This week, we had the opportunity of meeting José Manuel Gallego, from the winery Tobía. He explained us the work that is being conducted at his winery regarding both the production and ageing of his wines, and they continuous research and to R+D. Do not miss it!

Tobía winery1.    Can you please explain the origins of the winery? How did everything start?

Oscar Tobia’s parents where vine growers from La Rioja. In 1994, after finishing his studies of Agricultural Engineering, he came back to La Rioja, recovered his family’s winery and embarked in the project Bodegas Tobia along with Ana Castelló to make their Rioja wines. Last year, in June, the winery moved to the village of Cuzcurrita de Río Tirón.

2.    Which is your flagship wine? What are you working at now and what future projects do you have?
Our flagship wine is Alma de Tobia, however, in the winery, a special attention is also devoted to Oscar Tobia Reserva and Tobia Selección Crianza. Vintage after vintage, our aim is to improve the quality of our wines so as to turn them into reference wines. We always believed that the wineries’ challenge is to produce great wines that can be drunk in our everyday’s life, excellent wines to be drunk every day, and therefore, we are elaborating new wines in this vein.We have recently launched a new range of wines, called Daimon, with this philosophy. A great wine at affordable prices.

3.    In your winemaking procedures, which are your winery’s differentiating elements with regard to others?
Our winery’s main strength lies on the quality of the wines. We are a winery based on wines’ quality. All that we are now is due to our wines.
We bet for a minimalist elaboration, in which the grapes play the main role and, in contact with the wood, make us enjoy the wines’ complexity. At our winery, wines are not filtered, the malolactic fermentation takes place in the barrels, wines are stabilized in natural way and they are not clarified. We use special deposits in which the alcoholic fermentation takes place, using the own energy produced in this process for the overpumping, avoiding the use of additional energy and obtaining better results.
From the beginning, we have been committed to the continuous research and to R+D.

4.    Wine culture is in constant evolution. What should a winery do to adapt to these changes and to stay alive in the market?
I have always said that making wine is “easy” as long as the grapes are good. Therefore, nowadays the care for the vineyard and the good selection of the grapes is essential.

5.    What do you think of the situation of the Spanish wine culture in the international market? What is the position of the Spanish market?
Spanish wines have an excellent value for money and maybe the best in the world. However, we are besides France, Italy, Australia, Chile or South Africa. That is why we have lots to do to reach our rightful place according to quantity and to quality.

6.    And in the case of your winery, do you bet for the international market? Is it easier than struggling for the national market at the moment?
For us, both markets are important. From the beginning we have committed ourselves to find a place in the international market, but we have not forgotten about the national market either. Both markets have their own singularities, their difficulties and also their advantages.

Define yourself. 4 quick questions that will help us know you better:

1.    What do you prefer: red, white, rosé wine, cava or champagne?
Any of them, depending on the situation, place and company, as long as it is a good wine, a good cava or a good champagne.
2.   Which is your favourite designation of origin?
3.    What is your favourite grape variety?
I prefer to talk on wines that are well elaborated. However, I must say that I am especially fond on local varieties. I enjoy a lot with different kind of wines: tempranillo, graciano, garnacha…
4.   A young or an aged wine?
Any of them, depending on the situation, place and company.
5.   An oenologist whose wines are a must.
Oscar Tobía and his new wines, Daimon, from Bodegas Tobía.

And to end up, just three wine or cava recommendations.

As a sherry
Moscatel de Ochoa.

As a cava
Brut Nature Gran Reserva by Sumarroca

As a white wine
José Pariente Fermentado en Barrica

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