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D.O.: D.O. Méntrida
The career of Bodegas Canopy began in November 2003, when the three partners, including Alfonso Chacón Gil and Belarmino Fernández Bombín, both oenologists and winegrowers, began the search for old Grenache vines on which they could base their personal project to produce wines from the vineyard. Finally, in Méntrida they located an old Grenache vineyard that suited their requirements. Here is where their adventure began.
The name of the winery, Canopy, is inspired by the winegrowing concept of "canopy management". That is, that it concerns the handling of the "canopy", which is basically the aerial part of the plant, so that the number of leaves, their health and orientation, —even establishing a "leaf to fruit" ratio—, are suitable so that the vine can produce quality fruit without excesses or deficiencies in their composition.
Clearly, this young winery has managed to reach, in record time, the elite of the old Spanish Grenache wines without making any noise, and without the media artifice that usually accompanies the oenological discoveries that move along the lines of trends.
History of the winery
The winery is located on the road from Vamojado to Toledo, Km 24, in the municipality of Camarena (Toledo). The continuous search for old high vineyards performed by Bodegas Canopy led them to launch their first Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y León in 2007. The original vineyard is located between the mountain ranges of Gredos and Guadarrama in the valley of the river Alberche, in the municipality of Cebreros (Ávila). It is characterized by its granitic soils and its vines of more than 50 years, cultivated in vase-shape.
It has very old vineyards, where the work and maintenance of the lands are minimally interventionist, with an organic philosophy, protecting many of the local plants and insects. These old vines with low yields are what allow the wines from Bodega Canopy to be unique, with a strong personality and a special character.
They carry out a sustainable viticulture, minimally interventionist, that allows the siliceous-granitic soils to express themselves, and also to achieve power and elegance in their wines.
At Canopy use the best raw material to highlight the character of the variety, the differentiating trait. To do so, they use larger barrels and French oak, as they believe that the wood must accompany and enhance the fruit, the freshness and the minerality of their wines.
The human team is formed by Carlos Maqueda, in charge of the vineyards, Alfonso Chacón and Belarmino Fernández, responsible for viticulture, oenology, as well as the management and commercial management.
Currently, the different vineyards of Canopy add up to a total of 19 hectares, divided between the Grenache and Syrah varieties. The Grenache vines are located in El Real de San Vicente (Toledo), at around 750-895 metres of altitude, on granitic soils. They are vase-shape plantations, with ages between 40 and 90 years. The Syrah comes from vineyards planted in espalier, with ages between 16 and 20 years, located in the municipality of Camarena (Toledo) at 400 metres of altitude on sandy soil.
For the cultivation of the vine they have a commitment with the ecosystem and sustainable development. They do not use synthetic products in any of the processes, the practically do not use manure, and the soil is tilled at a shallow depth. In addition, because of their marked Mediterranean-continental climate, the vineyards do not require many phytosanitary treatments, only applying sulphur several times a year.
The production of Canopy is based on utmost respect for the grapes in the winery. Its wines follow a process of cold pre-fermentation maceration and early devatting. Then they go on to perform a malolactic fermentation in French oak barrels of different sizes.
Wines from Bodegas Canopy
Congo is a twist in Canopy's work philosophy, since only Grenache bunches selected manually during the first hours of the morning have been used for its production. After this strict manual selection process, only 20% of an old vineyard in Real de San Vicente was used. This vineyard is located on the southern foothills of the Sierra de Gredos, the vines are 50 years old, and they are planted on granitic rock soils, located at 750 metres of altitude. A cold pre-fermentation maceration is carried out and, afterwards, the grapes go through gentle stomping for 22 days. The malolactic fermentation takes place in barrels, and then it continues with an ageing of 17 months in French oak. This wine has surprising notes of red fruits, strawberries, blueberries and plums, with floral aromas of violets along with chocolate and hazelnut nuances. In the mouth it is ample and tasty, with a sweet and mature tannin that respects and enhances the wine, and helps is appreciate all the minerality of the old vineyard.
Kaos is the result of their permanent search for the perfect Grenache; an elegant red and with a low production, that expresses like no other all the potential of the inland Grenache. After five years of recovering old high vineyards, the team at Canopy found paradise in Cebreros. Located in the Alberche valley, between the snowy peaks of Gredos and Guadarrama, the Cebreros vineyard is characterised by its steep slopes, almost ravines, where the old vineyards of more than 60 years extend their roots through chaotic and rustic slate soils. These conditions, alongside their maximum respect for the soils, and the limited yield of the old vines, allow the essence of the fruit to concentrate in the bottle, resulting in a wine with a unique personality. This wine is stored in 500-litre barrels for eighteen months.
La Viña Escondida is a reference of the high Grenache vineyards, since it is made with bunches from the hilltop of an old Grenache vineyard of 65 years, planted on granitic soil. This hilltop has its vines exposed to the four cardinal points, receiving different expositions to sun rays. This provides for a perfect ripening. Here they work with organic viticulture. It goes through malolactic fermentation in 2000-litre foudres and ages in French oak barrels for 15 months. On the nose it is elegant and subtle. It presents a suggestive aromatic palette, with prevailing notes of ripe red fruits (currants and cherry), along with other floral (violet), undergrowth (lavender and thyme) and balsamic (eucalyptus). In the mouth it is fresh and ample. Powerful but silky. Its taste runs through the mouth with a surprising elegance and full of mineral aromas (graphite) and spices (white pepper and gunpowder).
Malpaso is a single-variety wine made of Syrah from vineyards planted in espalier, between 15 and 20 years of age, that the winery has in the municipality of Camarena. It expresses the potential of this grape variety, perfectly adjusted to the demanding conditions of the area of Méntrida. Malpaso is a clear reflection of the objective of this winery of Toledo: to produce wines from the perspective of the vineyard, using organic viticulture and respecting the grape to the maximum extent. The sandy soils where the vineyards are located —at an altitude of 400 metres— are very suitable for the fruit to reach the perfect point of ripeness. In addition, the climate of the area, especially dry and with broad temperature variations between summer and winter, together with an ageing of twelve months in 400 and 500-litre French oak barrels, make of Malpaso a round wine, elegant and with personality. On the nose, it shows the characteristics of the Syrah, with black fruit and Mediterranean herbs, nuanced with the fine notes of its ageing in French oak. In the mouth it is powerful, with structure of abundant ripe tannins, great volume, and an acidity that supports the whole. A full finish, rich and of good persistence, with a complete global sensation.
Tres Patas is born from old Grenache vines (80%) that are over 40 years old, planted in vase-shape, on siliceous soils, and Syrah vines (20%) that are 15 years, planted in espalier on sandy soils. Each variety is produced separately. It performs the malolactic fermentation in barrels, and it is aged for 12 months in 400 and 500-litre French oak barrels, and 1,500-litre foudres. On the nose it is very fragrant and rich in nuances, in an assembly where the red fruits,, typical of the Grenache, the minerality of its terroir, and the spicy notes and noble woods stand out. In the mouth it has a medium body, good volume, with a mature and sweet tannin, and a lively acidity. It has a tasty, intense and refreshing finish, with good aromatic persistence.
Castillo de Belarfonso is the "basic" wine of the house, but it is also born from 60-year-old Grenache vines planted on siliceous granitic soils, with an ageing of 5 months in French oak. On the nose, it has aromas of red fruits (cherries, blueberries), floral notes (violets) and fresh herbs (thyme, chamomile), and the notes of intrinsic minerality of the Gredos Grenache vines. On the palate it is fresh, amiable and easy-to-drink, making you want more after each taste.
Loco is one of the latest creations of Canopy. It is its white wine, born from vineyards of more than 65 years, where the White Grenache plays the main role, although it is not a common variety of the area. Half of the wine has remained for six months in barrels, with batonnages, and the other half in deposits with its fine lees. On the nose it shows its aromatic complexity, with subtly toasted and creamy aromas of the barrel with tones of Mediterranean forest and fresh herbs sprinkled with spices. In the mouth it is very amiable, with a silky texture, fresh, and a long aftertaste. A white wine that is presented with a straitjacket on its label. Its production is of around 1,500 bottles.
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