The Ronda area, apart from its touristic attractions on the back of Marbella and the Costa del Sol, has recently - over the last 15 years - recovered ancestral tradition in wine production.
The personality and quality of productions arise an amazing and unexpected interest…as no one anticipated that such a southern area could produce such premium wines.
Even more surprising is the fact that despite it is still too early to talk about an "established" and common "Ronda Style" of wine - every producer is currently dealing with different varietals on different soils composition and different winemaking options - the great majority of wines produced have proved to be very good to excellent. Although of very different personality, many an international operator tend to find similarities with what Priorato has performed over the last decade.
Jose Manuel Ramos-Paul and his wife Pilar Martinez-Mejias initiative on the "Chantre" Vineyard date back from 1999 and because of its very unique location, micro climate and soil conditions - has immediately gathered the very Spanish winemaking specialists goodwill to assist and participate the project.
Fransisco Maria Moreno, former Managing director at Marques de Murrieta for some 15 years, has been from the very beginning leading a team of spanish experts in every viti-vinicultural specialty, supported with the technical conviction and ambition that they would be producing a very exceptional wine, aimed to become a premium reference in southern productions.
The vineyard (24hct.) is located in the “Ronda La Vieja” area, just under the impressive "Acinipo" Roman theater ruins.
It clearly benefits from a combination of Mediterranean and Oceanic weather influences.
Although known for its very pleasant climate the area enjoyes the highest average volume rains fall all over Spain.
The vineyard and cellar stand at some 1.000m of altitude…these two factors play a very important role in the unique quality/personality of the wine as it proves to positively balance a natural southern “rich” character with a great freshness thanks to a generous natural acidity.
The vineyard goes down from the cellars in some 150m. level difference, with slopes declining in specific areas in over 40%.
The basic soil composition is clay/argillaseous with a lot of white peebles/stones playing an important role in water retention allowing optimum maturity levels, both technical and polyphenolic. Our average total polyphenols level reaches 110/115 when Priorato reaches 100 and La Rioja around 95 in best vintages. This is to be seen as really unique and exceptional.
The planting scale is 1x2,10, leading to a fairly high/"bordelaise" density in some more than 4.500 plants/hct. to promote optimum “regulatory” plants vegetative competition between themselves.
The combination of varietals planted is: 40% Tempranillo, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Syrah and 15% Merlot, being used in different proportions for every single vintage.
The vineyard is carried under minimum interventions during the year, to respect the natural vegetative cycle of the vine. Some “green cuts” and grape cuts lead to an average 1 / 1,5 kg. Grapes harvest by plant.
Harvest is hand made in 19kg. boxes and only performed with people working the rest of the year in the vineyard and cellars. The selection in field and on the table of selection ensure that only the best grapes and must will enter the cellar.