THE EUROPEAN GASTRONOMIC CONFERENCE COUNCIL AWARDS THE VALENCIAN WINERY WITH THE “AURUM EUROPA EXCELLENCE ENOGASTRONOMIC” AWARD IN THE CATEGORY OF “BEST EUROPEAN WINERY 2018”.
Last Saturday Vicente Gandía received the award for “Best European Winery 2018”. A recognition granted by the European Council of Food and Wine Associations (CEUCO), a European body that brings together the main associations dedicated to the dissemination and protection of gastronomy and oenology regarding their places of origin.
Javier Gandía, Managing Director of Bodegas Vicente Gandía, picked up the “Aurum Europe Excellence Enogastronomic Award”, an award that recognizes the career and work of the winery, considering it the best European winery in 2018.
The event took place in Athens, specifically in the Zappeion building, an area built at the end of the 19th century to host the 1896 Olympic Games and in which many historical events have taken place. The event was chaired by the Minister of Tourism of Greece, Elena Kountoura and was led by the president of CEUCO Carlos Martín Cosme.
This award recognizes the harvesting work of the Valencian winery in its more than 130 years of history. Javier Gandía, general director of Vicente Gandia, points out “Without doubt this is one of the most important awards of our career. This recognition confirms the great moment of Valencian wines and the importance of Spanish wine in Europe. I would like to dedicate this award to the entire team of the company as well as to all our customers and suppliers, who are the main people responsible for this success”.
Vicente Gandía, with a commercial presence in 90 countries, is a family winery founded in Valencia in 1885. With a team of 140 employees, it is the largest winery in the Valencian Community and chosen among the 50 first wineries in the world according to the World Association of Wine and Liquor Journalists and Writers. In 2014, it was chosen as the best Spanish producer by the prestigious international competition AWC Vienna.
It currently produces wines in 8 denominations of origin: Valencia, Utiel – Requena, Rioja, Rías Baixas, Ribera del Duero, Cava, Alicante and Priorat. They are committed to sustainable cultivation, protection and development of the native varieties, and to carrying out modern developments inspired by traditional methods, maintaining the quality of the products harvest after harvest.
Vicente Gandía has evolved since its inception, labels such as Castillo de Liria, El Miracle, Hoya de Cadenas, Ceremonia and Sandara are examples of the company’s constant commitment to brand and innovation.
Two wines from our warehouse will be served for economy-class passengers on the transoceanic routes of Air Europa.
The wines from the winery will be served on board the long-haul flights of Air Europa. Thus, passengers travelling in economy can consume Hoya de Cadenas Shiraz and Fustanova Blanc during the journey; two Valencian wines with an international trip and that are well recognised within the sector.
Hoya de Cadenas Shiraz is a red wine made in the Finca Hoya de Cadenas, an enological paradise only 90 km from the city of Valencia that has 300 hectares of the most noble local and international varieties. This delicious Shiraz is warm, with soft tannins and a spicy finish, with a balsamic aftertaste reminiscent of black olives.
Fustanova Blanc is a wine whose fundamental key is the influence of the Mediterranean Sea. It is made with selected grapes and picked at the optimum time in order to maximize all its essence.
This wonderful white wine is broad, unctuous and fresh at the same time, with a fruity finish where its excellent acidity stands out.
These two Valencian wines have been chosen to be served in economy class for Air Europa’s international flights, the airline chaired by Juan José Hidalgo, which last year transported more than 10.6 million passengers to its more than 50 domestic, European and transoceanic destinations.
The presence of our Valencian wines with the airline will undoubtedly contribute to the promotion of our wines.
We all know that drinking wine in moderation is beneficial. In the past the gods claimed, either by intuition or experience, but not for any scientific reasons, that wine was a drink of the gods.
If we look at it from a scientific point of view, we can say that the benefits of wine are that:
It slows ageing:
Paul Schimmel, researcher, teacher and member of the Scripps Biological Research Institute (TSRI) in California, states that “Resveratrol, one of the ingredients in red wine, activates protective genes that limit cell stress and repair DNA, thus prolonging life”.
Mathew Sajish, author of the study and researcher at Schimmel’s laboratory, also states that consuming a couple of glasses of red wine gives the person enough Resveratrols to protect them.
This study was published online by the magazine “Nature” on 22 December 2014.
It prevents heart attacks and heart disease.
Immidiet conducted a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which examined 1,600 adults in London, Italy and Belgium, and reached the following conclusion:
Those who drink wine in moderation had high levels of omega-3 fatty acid (common among those who eat oily fish) in their blood, which is due to one of the components of the wine, polyphenol.
Omega-3 prevents the formation of plaque inside the blood vessels, protecting us from cardiovascular diseases. It reduces blood pressure and therefore prevents myocardial infarction.
It is beneficial for dental health and prevents tooth decay.
The Research Institute of Food Science of the Autonomous University of Madrid conducted a study (published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry), according to which the polyphenols in the wine (natural antioxidants) reduce bacteria in the gums and teeth and consequently help prevent tooth decay.
Eliminates body fat
Noemí Arias Rueda, researcher with the Nutrition and Obesity group at the University of the Basque Country, in her doctoral thesis “Effects of the combination of biomolecules present in food, conjugated linoleic acid, resveratrol and quercetin, on the accumulation of body fat” states that resveratrol and quercetin, molecules that are in many plant foods and beverages, reduce body fat.
Activates the immune system.
The Department of Metabolism and Nutrition of the Institute of Food Science, Technology and Nutrition (ICTAN) in Madrid agrees with the claim that ethanol modulates the immune system.
Drinking alcohol moderately can be beneficial for the immune system. The polyphenols contained in the wine contribute to this.
It palliates the effects of a sedentary life.
The Faseb Journal published an investigation, according to which the resveratrol of the grape palliates the negative effects that a sedentary life has on the body.
We experimented with a group of rats that lived in a sedentary environment, with limited movement. One section of the group was given resveratrol and the other was not. The animals that had not taken resveratrol experienced decreased mass and muscle strength, as well as bone weakness.
Gerald Weissman, editor-in-chief of this journal, states that resveratrol cannot replace exercise but does reduce deterioration in the event that a person is in a resting position.
The next step after purchasing the wine, before consumption, is its perfect conservation. The best way to do this is in a wine cellar, in storage cabinets or air-conditioned cabinets, which reproduce the ideal conditions for your wine to be perfectly conserved. The problem is that they are often expensive and difficult to obtain.
So if you do not have one, don’t worry, we will tell you how you can keep your wine in a wine rack, a normal one, which you can find in any store at no great cost. You only have to take into account these 6 basic conditions:
How to keep wine in your wine rack
Protect it from light. Both sunlight and fluorescent lights emit UV rays that can damage the wine, giving it an unpleasant odour. Dark wine bottles protect the wine better. Some glass even has UV filters. Therefore, the vast majority of red wine bottles are dark, because they lend themselves better to being stored without the wine losing its quality. Although not all wines respond equally to the passage of time (this depends on many factors such as processing, type of grape, ageing, etc.). Red wines can be stored in the bottle for between 2 and 10 years, depending on the type (young, aged, reserve, special reserve). The white wines and rosés must be consumed in the year following their harvest, and can in some cases, such as with aged white wine, be stored for the two or three years after harvest.
If you cannot protect your bottles from light, it is best to keep them in their box or wrap them in an opaque cloth.
Keep them in a horizontal position If the storage time is prolonged (more than a month), in order to prevent the cork from drying out (this could allow the outside air to pass through their pores and spoil the wine) it is advisable that the wine bottle be in kept in a horizontal position, even for reserve and special reserve wines, tilting the bottled towards the cork, so that the wine always keeps the cork moist.
For reserve wines, if the bottles are in their box, you can place the box upside down.
It is also advisable that the wine label be at the top, so you can see if there is sediment in the wine.
Constant temperature. The temperature must not exceed 24ºC, since at this temperature the wine begins to oxidise. Furthermore, the temperature should not fall below 5ºC, therefore, choose the most appropriate place in your house for your bottle, away from heat sources, such as the kitchen or electrical appliances. Abrupt changes of temperature can lead to the premature ageing of the wine.
Control the humidity. Choose a place without too much humidity, but which, at the same time, is not too dry. The correct humidity levels for a home are sufficient, around 40 – 50%, although ideally humidity should be between 60 – 70%. This prevents evaporation and keeps the cork moist so that it does not let air in. Excessive moisture facilitates the growth of mould and causes the labels to peel off.
Do not move it. If possible, wine should be stored in such a way that it is easy to access without having to move the bottles. Even heavy traffic vibrations, engines or generators, can have adverse effects on the wine.
Isolate the wine. The wine “breathes” and the external smell can penetrate through the cork, so you should place it in a place with good ventilation and isolate it from anything that emits strong odours.
Surely at home you have a corner that meets these conditions. Now you know how you can conserve your wine without spending a lot of money. You can buy cases of wine that are on offer saving you a lot of money.
Hoya de Cadenas has real origins that date back to the seventeenth century.
In this era, Spain was a country in crisis. The monarchy was in a delicate situation since it did not have any financial resources, exhausted after the Thirty Years’ War and the battle with the French, having to support of their constant war campaigns.
In an effort to raise funds and gather support among the nobility, King Philip IV went on a tour of the different regions of Spain. This is how in 1645 the King decided to visit Valencia where he convened a session of the Parliamentary Courts in the convent of Santo Domingo.
After passing through Valencia and having fulfilled his mission, the King undertook his return journey to Madrid, accompanied by his court, he stopped for a couple of days in Utiel. The Fernandez de Córdova family, belonging to the nobility, offered hospitality to the King and his son, Prince Baltasar Carlos (who was 16 years old and travelling with him), as was the custom in this family, since they had done this on other occasions with predecessors of the monarch.
Before continuing their trip, the royal court met with the locals in the parish church of Santa Maria, and at the end of the service King Philip IV granted the title of “city” to the population of Utiel, he did this orally, with the phrase “come with us to the city”. This is how Utiel got its title, long before other flourishing locations.
The generosity of the King also extended to his noble hosts, the Fernandez de Cordova family, in whose ancestral home he had stayed. This was designated the “Right of Asylum”, which was rarely given in civilian buildings, it being almost always granted to military and religious stays. This privilege granted a right to the building in question where a fugitive could benefit from the security of the location, in exchange for working in it. This right was above the justice of men, since it was in service of the justice of God.
To mark this privilege, the front of the house was adorned with heavy chains and was soon known as the House of Chains.
With the passage of time, this name was extended to all possessions of the Fernandez Córdova family. This is how the estate, which belonged to this family, acquired the name “Casa de las Cadenas” (House of Chains), and the valley where it is located began to be known as the valley of the chains or the “Hoya de Cadenas”.
If you want to know more about Hoya de Cadenas Estate, come and visit it.
When we decide to open a bottle that we have been keeping for years, it would mean the celebration of a very special occasion. Some of us are even in the habit of saving wine for especially important occasions, that will take place in the future, retirement, the football league, the world cup (“2018”), etc., and when the moment arrives we can sometimes see that the bottle contains sediment (possibly in bottles that have been stored for more than eight years). But this does not mean that the wine has been spoiled. These sediments are natural, as well as beneficial, since they are a sign that the wine is of great quality. These solid substances are tannins and other natural materials that are no longer soluble due to the evolution of the wine. So it doesn’t matter if you drink them, what happens is that they can have a bitter taste and spoil the wine that you had been looking forward to for so many years.
Therefore, it is advisable to decant this type of wine before drinking it. It is also the way in which we get the wine to oxygenate and evolve quickly, thus opening its aromas more.
How to decant wine
Decanting means separating a mixture by pouring a liquid from one container to another. That’s what we should do, pour the wine from the bottle to the decanter. It is best to tilt the decanter so that the wine flows down the sides and excess bubbles are avoided. Care must be taken to ensure that the sediments do not get poured into the decanter. Try putting a light bulb behind the bottle, which allows you to see clearly when the sediments are near the neck of the bottle.
Once you have transferred all the wine to the decanter, you must consume it within the next few hours. From that moment the wine is very quickly oxygenated and it loses its alcohol and aromas.
You can decant both young and mature wines to make them oxygenate, but they may require different methods.
On the one hand you may choose a decanter with a narrow neck and a wide base for young wines, which will encourage faster evolution, something that is often necessary.
For the mature wines, you can use a decanter with a long neck and a narrow base, which will cause it to oxygenate more slowly.
Another way to have a wine evolve through its oxygenation, is to open it an hour before serving it, which is known as “letting the wine breathe”.
Finally, IT IS NOT ADVISABLE TO WASH THE DECANTER WITH SOAP, this may add aromas that mask the very aroma of the wine itself, and part of the charm of decanting a wine may be lost.
You can wash the decanter by simply using water or a mixture of mineral water, crushed ice and coarse salt.
Now you know everything you need to know to decant wine.
I hope you have found it useful.
Mr Vicente Gandía, is the first generation of this winery, the founder of the company, a man with the character and strength that established the foundations of Bodegas Vicente Gandía.
From humble origins, Vicente Gandía, was born in 1865 in Agullent, a small town located at the southern end of the province of Valencia, wine country.
Due to the few possibilities offered by his environment, he emigrated to the city attracted by the opportunities it offered, and looking for a way to develop a business career. In 1885 Mr Gandía began in the wine world as a worker in one of the French wineries that operated in El Grao de Valencia. As a result of his effort and perseverance he was quickly promoted to purchasing manager, taking care of negotiations with harvesters from the interior and learning the secrets of this sector. It was then that Vicente Gandía developed his qualities as a negotiator and began to create a reputation as a businessman.
At the end of the 19th century, due to its marked entrepreneurial character, he had already opened his own wholesale wine shop on Calle Serrano in Valencia.
The jump to the international environment took place during the export crisis that occurred between 1900 and 1910. Many French firms had to emigrate, an opportunity that Vicente Gandía took advantage of in order to start exporting on his own. To do this he bought some land in the El Grao neighbourhood of Valencia and built a winery, which was already listed in the Bailly-Bailliere Guide of 1920 as one of the 34 wineries that at that time was dedicated to the business of exporting wines.
The twenties were years of prosperity for the business and laid the solid foundations that the company would need to face the tough years to come. These years were marked by a strong contraction of the international market due to the Spanish Civil War and World War II. Unlike many other export firms that had to close, Bodegas Gandía was one of the few that managed to survive.
Having overcome this recession, the trajectory of this company has been an accumulation of constant advances and innovations.
In 1971 it was the first winery to bottle wine from Valencia with its brand Castillo de Liria, which today is a benchmark for export in terms of Spanish wines. This pioneering initiative has been followed by many others such as the acquisition of the Hoya de Cadenas estate, another fruit of this spirit of improvement that has lasted to this day, and that has allowed the production of high quality wines such as Ceremonia, Hoya de Cadenas and Bo.
Currently this company, run by the fourth generation, is the largest winery in the Valencian Community, the 15th Spanish winery and one of the 50 best wineries in the world, exporting to 85 countries on 5 continents.
It has incorporated new Denominations of origin such as Rioja, Ribera del Duero, Rueda and Rias Baixas, launching new products such as Raiza Rioja, Dolmo and its charismatic Con un Par Albariñor. In addition, its range of El Miracle 120 wines, launched in 2005 to commemorate its 120-year history, have been consolidated as modern and social wines. The new sparkling low alcohol wines, Sandara, is the latest and most revolutionary initiative of this winery. We must also mention the great solidarity project “Whatever It takes”, which combines the good work in winemaking and solidarity with the most needy, through the image donated by great “celebrities” such as George Clooney, Charlize Theron, Penelope Cruz or Pierce Brosnan among others.
It is not a sign of sadness, the vine weeps with joy.
The plants begin to awaken from a long state of lethargy in which they have remained throughout the winter, giving them the appearance of lifelessness. That is why this phenomenon of weeping is so curious since it is the beginning of the vine’s cycle that concludes with the harvest.
But this is just one of the stages that the vine goes through. Do you want to know all the phases of the vine’s vegetative cycle?
This is a very interesting process in which you can see how the plants start to be active. It occurs when temperatures increase and last approximately 3 weeks. The droop begins to rise and, through the pruning process, drops of colourless liquid spurt out, giving the sensation that the vine is “weeping”. Sometimes this liquid acquires a reddish colour, giving the impression that blood is flowing from its cuts. Because of this phenomenon, the vine growers call it “Weeping Blood”.
SPROUTING AND FOLIATION PHASE:
During the month of April, when the earth reaches 10ºC, lumps begin to appear on the branches. This is called the swelling of the buds, which is followed by the separation of the layers that cover them, giving way to small leaves. This is called foliation.
At the end of May, the flowering takes place, which consists in the flower opening for fertilization, signifying the newly formed fruit. From that moment, small clusters of very small green fruits called “bunches” will start to emerge. These fruits will develop little by little until maturity.
This occurs during the month of July. The grapes begin to change their green colour for a yellowish colour in the case of the white and red varieties used for red wines. In addition, the grapes lose acidity and start to accumulate sugars. It is during this phase that the red and white varieties can be distinguished, since until this point all varieties of grape are green.
The winemakers and oenologists are the ones who, in the months of August and September, carry out exhaustive controls on the maturity of the grape, in order to determine the right moment of harvest according to the type of wine that they want to make.
After the harvest, the droop of the plant begins to drop, which causes the leafs to change their colour from green to reddish, from when they will later fall completely, exposing stems or branches.
During the cold months, approximately between November and March, the plant of the vine is in a state of rest. In this phase it looks like the plant has died. It is at this time, generally during the month of January, when the pruning takes place.
From here the cycle begins again and the vine will weep again.