The Castaño family are the original pioneers of the DO Yecla. Starting in the 1950s, Ramón Cantaño Santa, with an […]Keep Reading
The Castaño family are the original pioneers of the DO Yecla. Starting in the 1950s, Ramón Cantaño Santa, with an extensive family history of viticulture, built the first modern winery in the region. Over the successive decades, he added to his family’s holdings, so now the estate encompasses 450 hectares of primarily old bush-vine Monastrell. Then, starting in the 1980s, the family began bottling wines under their name, continuing to innovate and improve the reputation of Monastrell from Yecla in domestic and export markets. Before this time, most of the wine made in Yecla was sold off in bulk, so much of the best, old-vine material was blended away before anyone could take note of its quality.
The vineyards are grouped into four estates: Las Gruesas, El Espinal, Pozuelo, and Arabí. Soils range from rocky limestone to fine clay. The primary grape is Monastrell, followed in importance by Garnacha Tintorera and Cabernet Sauvignon. There are also smaller plantings of Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Garnacha, Macabeo, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc.
With such extensive holdings, it’s remarkable that harvest is still done entirely by hand, with the grapes being transported quickly to the winery for fermentation. The winery’s capacity allows for individualized fermentations, including large tanks equipped for traditional carbonic maceration and smaller tanks for a range of more experimental types of fermentations. This dynamic approach to winemaking is like letting a three-star chef free in a fully stocked and kitted-out kitchen.
The wines selected by European Cellars are primarily sourced from the northern part of the DO, where the soils are poorer, rockier, and at a higher elevation. These vines range in age from 20 to close to a century old, with some of the oldest vines of Monastrell being ungrafted. In addition to Monastrell, their vineyards are planted with Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Garnacha Tintorera, Macabeo, and Chardonnay.Close