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Like Christopher Columbus, I left Palos de la Frontera…

By the time you read this, I’ll be on my way for a 3 months wine journey in #AustralAsia, but before heading to the Barossa Valley, I visited old friends in Spain near the town of Toro and the Duero river.

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I used to work in the area when I was in charge of the mkg dept. for François Lurton – Bodega Lurton – located on a wide plateau above the river, made of a deeply gravelly, sandy soil with big rusty-coloured rounded stones. These stones are highly reflective and the gravelly soils are well-aerated. The altitude is between 700m to 800m above sea level. All of these factors lead to the production of a very high quality of grapes with optimal ripeness and concentration but with an element of freshness. The location of the nearby Duero River has a positive influence on the plots helping to temper any extreme summer temperatures.

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But, at that time, we didn’t reinvent or redesign a wine space. Today a miracle has taken place in Valdefinjas, another little village in Castile-León : Under the vast sky, wine emerges from the depths of the earth. As if by magic, three bottles are raised by an astonishing sculpturecum-portico. The bottles contain a rare wine: Termanthia, made with grapes from the best vineyard in the Toro appellation. This wine packed with sun and intense aromas, of which no more than 6,000 bottles are produced each year, is made by Bodega Numanthia, an estate owned by the Moët Hennessy group.

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When major wine and spirit brands contact designers, it is generally to ask them to redesign packaging, more substantial collaborations are few and far between. For a long time this was the case for 5.5 designers agency but Bodega Numanthia came along at just the right moment.

When Christopher Columbus left Palos de la Frontera in 1492 to look for a new route to the Indies, he loaded wine from Toro on his caravel. When phylloxera destroyed most of the vines in Europe in the 19th century, the Tinta de Toro varieties were the only ones that withstood the attack. Wine lovers will be familiar with the legend of this unique wine, made with grapes from original vines, some of which are 140 years old. The resistance of these vines is due to the fact that they have deep roots to obtain the nutrients they need. They draw moisture from a depth of between 2.5 and 3 meters.

numanthia

The Bodega Numanthia vineyard consists of several small plots that all lie some distance from each other. This vineyard is very unique and now symbolized with a work that makes a poetic link between man and nature.

By Numanthia’s wines at Millésima : http://www.millesima.com

 

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