castilla la mancha (spain) Castilla-La Mancha, in most people's memories, evokes the adventures of Don Quixote and his pudgy sidekick Sancho Panza. As 2005 celebrated the 400th anniversary of the publication of the first part of Cervante’s legendary work, their figures appear all over the place. Castilla-La Mancha is vogue these days. And so are its wines!

This large rather flat region is comprised of five provinces. Highly agriculturally oriented, wine-production has been an essential part of life here for centuries; so much so that it is considered the largest vineyard on Earth. In the past, that didn’t say much for its quality, though. As recently as ten years ago the vast majority of these wines had earned themselves a fairly well-deserved reputation for being ordinary.

But the experts had lots of faith in the enormous potential these lands possessed, and the results over the last few years have more than confirmed that suspicion. We are now before a group of regions whose ability to produce excellent wine at very competitive prices a force to be reckoned with.




Pago de Calzadilla is located at Huette in a region called Alcarria Conquense. It overlooks the Rio Major Valley at an altitude between 900-1,000 meters above sea level. This location is called La Calzadilla after the old Roman road called the Calzadilla Crossing. This crossing was a road typically traveled on its way to the Mediterranean Ports of Spain. Due to the numerous deposits of crystallized chalk found in the area the Romans built several cities in the region such as Segobrica and Ercavica. Today Roman ruins can still be seen.

The vineyards of the Uribes-Madero family was born in 1980 in Pago de Calzadilla with only a small wine making facility and only a small plantation of red grape varietals. Today Pago de Calzadilla is a 26 hectare property of which 20 hectares are dedicated to wine production. The state yields approximately 60-70,000 bottles per year of different red wines all of which are aged in oak.

All the steps taken during the making of their wines are directed to develop and enhance the notable characteristics of the grapes grown in Calzadilla. The limited production allows them to use traditional methods for viticulture, harvest, winemaking and aging of the wines. All this is combined with new technologies to get the best out of each process and each grape variety. Pago de Calzadilla avoids useless pumping, filtering, or any aggressive method which could damage and lower the quality of the grapes, musts, and the wines. The final step is aging, which is carried out in American and French oak barrels. Depending on the year and the potential of the vintage, they keep the wines in different types of barrels for a minimum of 12 months. Once bottled, the wines remain in the bottle during a maximum period of 4 years.

Pago de Calzadilla is located in a privileged spot for viticulture. Its soil and climatic characteristics make it a singular place to produce very special wines. These aspects and its founders new-born vocation have been very important in the creation of wines with great personality. The varieties planted on the estate are both indigenous and international; Tempranillo, Garnacha, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. Limestone soils with clay subsoil allow only small grape yields of very high quality. The vineyards enjoy a microclimate influenced by the high altitude and the Río Major valley which helps keep the nights cool during the hot summers of La Alcarria, and produces fogs during winter, which give humidity and protect the vines against extreme frost.

Calzadilla "Opta"
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