In 1986 in the city of Tomelloso, Castilla de la Mancha, Spain, 28 families of growers and makers choose to form a co-op, which they named Vinícola de Tomelloso, to commercialize the wines that they had been making for many generations in their underground cellars . By centralizing crush, fermentation, aging, bottling, cellarage, and sales, the co-op enjoys significant economies of scale. At the same time, they produce a wide portfolio of varietals (Airen, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Cencibel Tempranillo, Macabeo, Merlot, Syrah, Verdejo, and Viura), styles (sparkling, still red, still white, and rosé) , and brands that reflects the traditions of the co-op's members.
Tomelloso has been a wine producing region for 800 years, throughout which a lot of cultivation and winemaking traditions have been preserved, while many modernizations have taken place.
The bombo is a traditional rural La Mancha building constructed particularly for farm labor. From before bud break, and throughout the growing season, vineyard workers reside in bombos when they are too far from their homes to hike each day. Its' elliptical shape unifies flagstone without mortar. Inside it will contain a kitchen and fireplace, and lounge chairs.
On May 8, 2012, Vinícola de Tomelloso and fourteen other wineries exhibited their portfolios in the "Wines worth Discovering" D.O. La Mancha 2012 USA Spring Road Show in San Francisco at the Terra Gallery. The term "discovering" underlines the fact that most of the wineries in the road show are searching for importers who will distribute their wines in the U.S. This trade mission is a joint production of D.O. La Mancha and IPEX Foreign Trade Institute of Castilla-La Mancha.
Carmen Ramírez (Export Manager) shows the Torre de Gazate Gran Reserva 2000, a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Cencibel Tempranillo. This 2000 continues to age splendidly, with notes of apricot, leather, and agave. Four years post-release, it remains very affordable in Spain and in Austria. However, it cannot be found in the U.S., unless one has some special connections.
Charlie Arturaola, international sommelier and wine educator, participated in last year's road show, and spoke highly of the Torre de Gazate Gran Reserva 2000. He says that he loves the earthiness, cherry, spices, and rose aromas. His 90 second video presentation may be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ZG7A0AUGeHc#!
Everyone else that I met two days ago at the 2012 D. O. La Mancha trade show in San Francisco readily agreed with Charlie's findings.
Sliders were made with this roasted pig, and they paired marvelously with Torre de Gazate Gran Reserva 2000. When one can bring together the best and most traditional of wine and food from one place, it's hard not to have wonderful combinations. Please note that the label photographed is that of the Reserva 2000, but in all other regards is on target.