Tempranillo with a distinct character
Due to being located on the western border, close to Portugal, Tierra del Vino de Zamora is at a higher altitude than the closest wine region, Toro, reaching 750 metres above sea level. This means that the area experiences lower temperatures, particularly during the summer and the month of September, which is a key aspect in the grapes’ maturation. In addition to this particularity, the area has good aeration, with a continuous breeze that refreshes and maintains the grapes healthy during the humid seasons.
The average temperature in the province of Zamora is the highest in Castilla y León, which unifies the crops. Tierra del Vino is also a well-ventilated region, which compensates the summer’s high temperatures and minimises the risks of diseases in the vineyard. The harvest usually starts on the first fortnight of October. These old Tempranillo vineyards have an incredible capacity to automatically adjust to the characteristics of each vintage. It is not a coincidence that in years with reduced yields, the vine is not able to produce more than a kilogram of grapes. Viñas del Cenit relies on the vineyards located only in the municipalities of Villanueva de Campeán and Cabañas de Sayago, which are located in the region of Tierra del Vino.
The climate conditions in the area favour the crop’s health and, therefore, a winegrowing process in which only organic and environmentally friendly products are used and sustainable methods of labour are employed. This area’s peculiarity is also an important factor in traditionally making the wine this way. In virtually all cases, the vineyard has historically belonged to small winegrowers with a great emotional link to these vines, which they worked for deeper reasons that just production.
The diversity of soils in the region is mainly because in earlier days it was irrigated by three small rivers, leaving primarily very fine sand sediments, but also some areas where the surface of the soil is composed of cobbles.
Another characteristic is that they are deep soils, due to being at the end of the River Duero’s riverbed, and therefore, many fine types of sediment can be found in this stretch of the river. The soils mainly consist of sand on the surface and clay below. There are also areas with a large amount of cobbles on the surface.
Viñas del Cénit is mainly made from old vines planted following the traditional gobelet system. Even in the younger wines, the winegrowing base is of around 35 years. The rest date back up to between 150 and 180 years of age. Most of these vines are engrafted, before phylloxera became a struggle in Spain. Its habitat is composed of poor soils with a sandy and gravelly surface on a deep bed mostly consisting of clay.
The Tempranillo clone in the area, or Tinta Madrid as it is called in this region, has very special characteristics. It is a strong variety, likes its neighbour Tinta de Toro, bet elegant like the Tempranillo grapes from Ribera del Duero. It has a thick skin full of tannins, but its expression on the palate is smooth and grainy. Its aromas and tastes are very particular, leaning towards, coffee, liquorice and sweet spices, even after it has been aged in barrel. These two characteristics make it different from Tinta del Toro, which aromatically leans more towards berries and black fruit and whose tannins are more intense.