The Concours Mondial du Bruxelles international wine competition has awarded its top prize to Sonsierra Vendimia Seleccionada 2011. The wine was chosen from amongst nearly 9,000 entries from the 52 different wine-producing countries that took part in the competition, which was held in the Bulgarian city of Plovdiv from 29 April to 1 May.
The best wines were selected on the basis of a rigorous blind tasting by the panel, which comprised 320 tasters of 54 different nationalities and included international wine-buyers, sommeliers, importers, journalists and writers from the world of wine.
Spring and summer are the best times to enjoy these wines, although they can be consumed all year round.
The arrival of spring brings with it the new vintage of Sonsierra’s young wines, whose fresh, fruity flavours bring a touch of joy to the first tastings of the new season.
When the warmer temperatures of spring draw us out of the hardship of winter, the wines awake from their torpor and begin to weep.
The soil becomes warmer and, when the average temperature exceeds 10°C, the plant’s root system is activated and once again begins to absorb water and minerals and mobilise the reserves it has built up. Consequently, the sap begins to move through the trunk and branches, and the vine “weeps” when the sap reaches the shoots and the wounds made during pruning. The plant weeps in order to heal these cuts, which become covered with a rubbery substance that is produced by the bacteria that live in the cuts and the salts that dissolve in the “tears” when they evaporate.
There are many different methods of sealing wine bottles available on the market, although they can mostly be divided into two major categories: corks and synthetic corks.
Each wine has its own specific needs in terms of preservation and ageing. That’s why we’re going to tell you about the types of cork we use at Sonsierra for the different types of wine we produce.
We interviewed Father Fernando Azofra, the parish priest of San Vicente de la Sonsierra, to find out the secrets of the parish church of Santa María La Mayor. The church is one of the most attractive buildings in Sonsierra and a key part of our region’s rich heritage. It was built inside the town’s walls in the 16th century and stood alongside the 12th-century castle of San Vicente and the 13th-century hermitage of Vera Cruz. Together, the buildings comprised a remarkable historic fortified complex that afforded lofty views over the River Ebro from its perch high on the hilltop.
During winter the vines enter the resting stage of their growth cycle. Owing to the cold weather, from November to March the plants lose their leaves and growth ceases for a period of several weeks, during which the vines remain dormant. The plant’s energy reserves accumulate in its trunk and roots as it prepares itself for hibernation.
At Sonsierra we are completing the task of pruning the vines; a procedure that our vintners traditionally perform at this time of year. Pruning is a very laborious operation that must be performed manually, with shears, and requires a specialist touch.
Essentially, it consists of making a series of cuts to the vine in order to ensure sound biological balance and good distribution of sap, so that when the grapes appear they are exposed to adequate amounts of sun and air. This will help them ripen correctly and limit the spread of disease.
At Sonsierra we want to be part or your Christmas memories. Win one of our five Christmas packs with our wine Sonsierra Reserva 2010, 90 points at the Peñín Wine Guide and Gold Medal at the international wine contest Mundus Vini. To enter just go to our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/bodegas.sonsierra
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On 20th december we will publish the winners.