Since the very beginning in 2006, this small and family-run winery has opted for the native varieties of the area and the use of traditional training methods of Valle de la Orotava, thus preserving the rich winegrowing heritage of this region, which goes back five centuries. Valle de la Orotava is considered the origin of the vineyards on the island of Tenerife. Today, a large part of the identity of the wines from Suertes del Marqués, both whites and reds, are based on the unique expression of the native variety Listán.
From the creation of D.O. Valle de la Orotava in 1995, the winegrowing sector underwent a great transformation. Abandoned vines were recovered, new ones were planted, the wine started to be recognised inside and out of the islands, and sold at a good price. Up until this day, it has been a slow and expensive transformation. However, modern oenology is now a reality in Valle de La Orotava. Valle de La Orotava is located in the north of Tenerife, an area where the island was not affected by the phylloxera plague. Therefore, the varieties are planted directly from shoots (ungrafted) and cultivated on their own roots, thus preserving a high degree of pureness. Another of the peculiarities of Valle de La Orotava is that, for centuries, it has preserved the traditional braided cord training system, unique in the world. Suertes del Marqués preserves it and applies it to some of its vineyards. It is a braid made with the vines shoots at 0.60-0.80 m from the ground. The length of the vines varies from 3-4 m in narrow areas, to 15 m if the vine is old and it has enough vigour. This implies great manual work in all the stages, from the pruning to the harvest, since the uniqueness of the terrain and the fact that they are planted ungrafted, makes the braided cord a craftsmanship task. This tradition comes from the olden days, when two types of cultivation took place at the same time, mainly potatoes and vines, and there was not enough space to cultivate anything else for family subsistence. This technique allowed people to make the most of the land, since the vine shoots could be moved.
History of the winery
Suertes del Marqués is a family-run winery that started to make wines in 2006, although twenty years before that, they already sold their grapes to another winery from Denomination of Origin Valle de La Orotava. The winery is located in the north of the island of Tenerife, specifically in Valle de La Orotava, and in the municipality with the same name. The winery is equipped with uncoated concrete deposits of different capacities. Here, their wines are usually fermented, and in some cases for single-plot wines (vinos de parcela), refined.
The winery owns 11 hectares of vineyards located from 300 to 750 metres above sea level. They have different orientations and the soils have different compositions, although the winery also works with another 15 hectares of winegrowers of the area, always with vineyards at high altitudes. The century-old, ungrafted vines of Listán Negro and Listán Blanco prevail in most of their vineyards. Some of them are cultivated with the traditional braided cord system, a training system that is unique in the world. The Listán varieties coexist with other young and old vines of native varieties like Vijariego Negro, Baboso Negro, Tintilla, Pedro Ximénez and Albillo Criollo, cultivated with the espalier and cord techniques.
All the processes are carried out by hand, from the work in the vineyard to the harvest. In the vineyard, they avoid the use of systemic treatments, and they only use natural products when diseases arise. Without leaving aside the respect for tradition, the cornerstone of our winery’s philosophy, at Suertes del Marqués we try not to artificially interfere in the production of our wines. This is why we work with native yeasts, we avoid racking and we use small amounts of sulphur, only for the bottling of our wines. The ageing is carried out in small 500-litre French oak foudres from Burgundy cooperages. Their use is mainly focused on the refining process, trying not to give the wines exaggerated nuances. They also have stainless steel deposits of different capacities, which allow them to make assemblages of different plots for their “Vinos de Villa” and of different barrels for single-plot wines (vinos de parcela), as a step prior to their bottling.
Wines from Suertes del Marqués
The wines from Suertes del Marqués are made according to three groups: “Vinos de Villa”, which come from several plots from other winegrowers and owned vines, vinified separately and assembled before they are bottled; “Vinos de Parcela”, which come from specific plots located in the property, known as Finca El Esquilón. These are vinified and bottled separately, giving the name of the plot to the wine; and lastly, special vinifications of sweet wines, both white and red.
· Vinos de Villa
7 Fuentes is born from 35 plots from other winegrowers and owned vineyards, which have vines that are between 10 and 180 years old, approximately. The different vineyards are located between 250 and 800 metres above sea level. It is made with two varieties: Listán negro, mainly cultivated using the Braided Cord technique, and Tintilla from the plot Bocanegra, using the Espalier technique. Each of the plots is vinified separately and they are assembled right before they are bottled.
El Lance is an assemblage of several plots of winegrowers of the area. It includes varieties like Vijariego Negro, Tintilla, Listán Negro, Baboso Negro and Malvasía Rosada. They are planted from 300 to 600 metres above sea level, on volcanic soil with surfaces of different compositions.
Medianías is the name given to the area located at around 600 metres of altitude in the area of Valle de La Orotava. Here is where most of the area’s vineyards are currently located. The varieties that comprise this wine are Listán Negro, Vijariego Negro and Tintilla, with vines that are between 10 and 150 years old.
Trenzado is a white wine mostly made with Listán Blanco, although other native varieties are added to it, like Pedro Ximénez, Albillo Criollo, Gual, Marmajuelo or Malvasía. It is made from different vineyards located in Valle de La Orotava that are between 10 and 150 years old, mostly cultivated using the traditional Braided Cord system, which gives its name to this wine.
· Vinos de Parcela
La Solana is made from 1.5-hectare vineyard oriented to the east, located between 350 and 450 metres above sea level, planted with Listán Negro aged between 80 and 150 years old, and cultivated using the braided cord system. The soil is formed by a layer of clay on top of volcanic rock. This terroir results in a wine that subtly combines fruitiness and minerality.
Candio is the name of the ravine that crosses the vineyards. This wine comes from the plot El Barranco, located at 350-450 metres above sea level and oriented to the west. It is made with vines of Listán Negro that are between 80 and 150 years old, cultivated ungrafted and using the multiple braided cord system. The soil of this plot is mainly volcanic rock covered with a clayey layer.
El Esquilón is made from a vineyard that is just 1.2 hectares, located between 450 and 550 metres above sea level, oriented to the north. The variety Listán Negro is 80 years old on average, and the Tintilla, around 20 years old, cultivated using the espalier system. They are planted on soils dominated by volcanic rock, in combination with clayey and sandy-loam soils, depending on the height.
El Ciruelo is made from a 0.75-hectare vineyard located between 480 and 520 metres above sea level, oriented to the north. Here they cultivate Listán Negro, ungrafted, and over 90 years old, using the unique braided cord system. The name of the plot is taken from the century-old plum tree (ciruelo) that coexists with the vines. This plot has a soil dominated by volcanic rock, with a layer of sand and loam under a native vegetation cover.
Los Pasitos is made from a 0.25-hectare plot located between 390 and 450 metres above sea level, oriented to the north. It has a plantation density of 6500 hectares per hectare. Here, they cultivate the variety Baboso Negro, ungrafted, using the Cordon de Royat method, oriented north and south. The soil is comprised of a clayey layer on volcanic rock, with a native vegetation cover.
Vidonia comes from the winery’s own plots, El Barranco, La Solana and El Ciruelo, located between 350 and 520 metres above sea level, on volcanic soils, where ungrafted century-old white varieties coexist. In the 17th century, Vidonia was the name given to wines from Tenerife made in the north of the island and produced with white varieties (except Malvasía), coinciding with the period of maximum splendor in wine trade in the Canary Islands. Vidonia wines were commonly exported to the Antilles and the United Kingdom.
El Chiribique is made from a 0.40-hectare vineyard located between 380 and 420 metres above sea level, oriented to the east. In this plot, the training system used is the Braided Cord. The vines are between 60 and 80 years old, all of them of the variety Listán Negro. This plot, with the shape of an amphiteatre, has soils comprised of volcanic rock with a layer of clay.
Suertes del Marqués Blanco Dulce comes from a stack (solera) that was started in 2010. It is comprised of Listán Blanco from high altitudes and Malvasía Aromática from a vineyard that no longer exists. Each year, 50 litres are extracted and 50 new litres are added. There is only one barrel with a capacity of 300 litres.
Suertes del Marqués Tinto Dulce comes from a stack (solera) that was started in 2010 with the varieties Listán Negro and Baboso Negro from the farm Finca El Esquilón. There are only two 225-litre barrels. Each year, they extract 40 litres from each one and they add new wine.
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