La Araucaria Rosado is made from centenarian Listan Negro vines from two vineyards, Montijo and Hacienda Perdida. Both vineyards are in the Valle de La Orotava and are in the unique cordón trenzado (“braided cord”) style. The grapes are skin macerated for 12 hours, and the wine is aged in stainless steel tanks. The wine is bottled with light fining and filtration, and a minimal amount of SO2.
Dolores Cabrera Fernández
Dolores studied viticulture at the Escuela Capacitación Agraria in Tacoronte (East of La Orotava) and worked at Bodegas Monje as the head viticulturist for 10 years. In 2014 she decided to make her own wines, naming her project “La Araucaria” for a type of evergreen tree found in the Canary Islands, and specifically for the very large tree just outside her cellar that is depicted on her labels. Her husband Pedro helps out in the cellar, and a team of women (she believes women are more deft at picking grapes) help her with the harvest.
The stately old vines she works with are the great loves of her life, and you can see the delight on her face when she steps out among them. Her cellar, which was the first to ever be built in what is now the DO Valle de La Orotava, looks out over the Atlantic Ocean and her extraordinary vineyards. Most vines are trained in the cordón trenzado (braided cord) method, where vines snake out of the ground and the canes are braided together and supported by posts to facilitate better airflow (mildew is an issue due to the humidity); the braids of the oldest vines can reach between 14 to 22 meters in length. This unusual style is only found here in La Orotava on the northern slopes of Tenerife - the largest of the seven Canary Islands. This Denominación de Origen is important to Spanish history: in the 15th Century, it was one of the first areas on the island to be planted with grapes. The Spaniards fought for over 100 years to gain control of the islands, and agriculture quickly became an economic staple. The Canary Islands are renowned for their fertile soil, and wine became a major export (mostly to England), long before their other two major exports, bananas and potatoes, entered the game. The DO Valle de La Orotava was established in 1995 and encompasses vines from sea level to 800m in elevation; it is noted for its volcanic soil intermixed with clay and elevated humidity. This unique terroir gives wines from La Orotava a trademark earthiness and an unusual texture not found in wines elsewhere on the island. There are about 700 hectares planted in the DO, primarily to Listán Negro, the indigenous red varietal that (to our knowledge) has no genetic relation to any other grapes on the planet.
Dolores Cabrera is a passionate farmer. She is actively trying to get all other farmers in La Orotava to convert to organic farming and is evangelical in her crusade. She has a small organic vegetable garden adjacent to the winery, where she often picks lunch right out of the ground.
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