Enologist Francisco Gabaldón
Bodegas Iranzo, with vintners from the Iranzo Perez–Duque family, produces the Oldest Estate Bottled Wines in Spain. The first recorded written evidence of the vineyard Cañada Honda Estate owned by the Iranzo Perez–Duque family dates back to 1335 as granted by King Pedro I of Castilla. Bodegas Iranzo is the only vineyard in Europe located in a National Reserve Park.
The present house of the Iranzo Pérez-Duque family in Requena was built in 1794, and is classified as a Cultural Heritage site by the Valencia Regional Government.
Since 1994 Bodegas Iranzo has exclusively produced wine from organically grown grapes making the winery one of the oldest-established vineyards in Spain to apply this European Organic regulation. Bodegas Iranzo is one of the first bodegas in Spain to be certified EU organic and the FIRST bodega in Spain to receive USDA National Organic Program certification.
The present vineyard was designed and laid out in 1983 with a view to achieving two distinct but complementary objectives: the production of wines of the finest quality; and total respect for the environment. The volume of wine produced takes second place to both these objectives.
The vine cultivation system used encourages the creation of a micro-climate at the level of the plant’s organs, with optimum temperature, insulation and humidity constants for producing grapes that ripen perfectly, a fundamental factor in obtaining quality fruit with the minimum of human intervention.
The vineyard is fertilized using sheep’s manure from extensively farmed flocks in the local district. No special action needs to be taken against animal parasites, as the vines have not suffered significant attacks thanks to their balanced development and the conservation of the fauna which are not harmed by their cultivation practices that prey on such pests.
For the Iranzo Perez–Duque family, the practice of organic farming reflects a wider view of the management of natural resources which has led it, since the 1950s, to reforest over 30 hectares with native woodland species.
The family has also promoted the establishment of concepts such as a Flora Micro-Reserve and a Biological Station prohibiting hunting, which have made the Cañada Honda estate the largest environmentally protected area in the Valencian Community.
Ctra. Madrid 60
Caudete de las Fuentes, 46315
Interview with Werner Michlits
Did you have a different profession before owning your own winery?
When did you decide to become a winemaker and/or winery owner?
What has owning a winery meant to you and is it what you expected?
What made you decide to transition into producing organic or biodynamic wines, or did you decide on this process from the beginning?
Who taught you organic or biodynamic farming practices?
Have you felt you had to make any sacrifices in choosing to go organic or biodynamic?
What challenges have you had in labeling your organic or biodynamic wine?
Would you like a universal labeling process for organic or biodynamic wines? If so, what would you like to see happen that is not?
What special environmentally conscious activities does your winery do in order to conform to an organic and biodynamic lifestyle and philosophy?
Apart from organic farming, our winery has the following activities:
1 – Creation in and around the vineyard of a “Micro Flora Reserve” a protected natural area officially designated by the European Union aimed at the protection of indigenous wild plants.
2 – Creation of a “biological station” – a wildlife protection zone. This is the first zone with this qualification in all of the Region of Valencia.
3 – Rehabilitation of historic buildings from the early twentieth century, in which the winery is located.