At Dehesa de Luna farm, wine makes up only a small portion of this large estate located in La Roda (Albacete) near Campo de Montiel. There are 3,000Ha of land with two thirds under forest and the rest planted to organic olive trees, pistachio, almonds, cereals and vines. Despite lacking a wine growing tradition, the first vines where planted in 2001 and currently total 64Ha.
The Gómez-Torres family manages the estate as a protected natural area. In fact, they refer to their property as a biodiversity reservoir and are committed to preserving the native flora and fauna. Wine labels have been recently redesigned so each wine features a particular bird species among those found in the property.
Vineyard expert and consultant José Ramón Lisarrague installed a variety of trellising systems that are suitable for the area’s warm climate. Usual wine growing practices include vegetation covers and the use of pruning canes as part of the manure. In terms of grape varieties, the initial choice was Tempranillo and international grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Petit Verdot. However, late ripening varieties such as Graciano and Garnacha Blanca have also been planted to get more freshness and there are a couple of single-varietal wines already in the market. Garnacha Tintorera (Alicante Bouschet) has been the lastest addition to the range.
Single-varietal wines made from local grapes will shape the future of Dehesa de Luna. Due to climate change well-adapted varieties seem to be the obvious choice. Experiences are already underway with Monastrell, Bobal and Cariñena.
Under the guidance of winemaker José Luis Asenjo, the wines come under VT Castilla and Vino de España (Wine from Spain) designations. Dehesa de Luna’s first release was Orígenes (€8.5), a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Tempranillo with six months of barrel aging which may increase the presence of local grapes in the future. The premium red Gran Luna (€23) adds Graciano and Petit Verdot in the blend and is only produced in outstanding vintages.
The range of single-varietal wines includes a directly-pressed Cabernet Sauvignon rosé (€8.5 in Spain), a White Garnacha (€10), a Tempranillo (€10), a Graciano (€15), an Alicante Bouschet (€13) and a Cabernet Sauvignon called Purgapecados (literally purge of sins, €23). The wines can be bought online from the winery’s store.