Founded in 1991, Juan Carlos Vizcarra is one of the pioneers of the garagiste winemaking movement in Spain. Today, his estate winery Bodegas Vizcarra Ramos is considered among the top producers in Ribera del Duero. Vizcarra owns 26 hectares (64 acres) of vineyards in the villages of Mambrilla de Castrejón and Roa, in the northern central area of Ribera del Duero within the Burgos province in Castilla y León. Many of Ribera’s best bodegas farm vineyards located in this area. From its higher altitude (2,785 feet), Ribera del Duero's northern central area within Burgos has a cooler climate than either Toro or Rueda, to the west and southwest, respectively. The wines produced within Burgos are usually darker, more concentrated wines with more forward aromas than those produced in the western part of Ribera del Duero. An extreme continental climate with cool nights and hot days with moderately low rainfall provides a longer ripening period and results in wines with great complexity and expressive, intense aromas.
Juan Carlos’ philosophy is centered on producing wines of elegance and finesse. To prevent harsh tannins and produce soft, elegant wines, Juan Carlos places great importance on careful vineyard work and gentle winemaking techniques. Relatively fertile, the soil (clay and limestone with gravel subsoil) has plenty of organic material with good water retention. To offset an undesirably high rate of vegetative growth, Juan Carlos reduces yields by thinning grape clusters from 20 to 8 per vine and by allowing other wild herbs to flourish around the vines. This foliage acts to absorb the potentially excessive water and nutrients from the soil. At the winery, Juan Carlos does with winemaking exclusively by gravity. Allowing gravity to move the wine from fermenter to tank to barrel means nothing mechanical agitates the delicate fruit or extracts excess skin or seed tannins. The resulting emphasis is on the fruit rather than the tannins.
Wine Advocate 6/2011
"Bodegas Vizcarra Ramos is staking a claim as one of the finest estates in Ribera del Duero."
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