Tarantas Tempranillo embodies the best of the Valencia region, and the label gets a refresh this year with a nod to the Biodynamic transformation of the winery underway. The Tarantas brand name and logo were inspired by the free-flowing, open art form of Flamenco song and dance of the same name, celebrated in Southeast Spain. “Wine with Body and Soul from the Heart of Spain,” the beautiful new black-on-black flowers announce winemaker Bodegas Iranzo’s transition to Biodynamic certification. The winery is currently practicing Biodynamic agriculture techniques and with the required transition period expects to have Demeter Biodynamic® certification in place for the entire vineyard in 2021. With its minimum of 6 months oak aging, the goal is having the Tarantas Tempranillo Crianza Demeter Certified Biodynamic starting with the 2022 vintage.
Bodegas Iranzo started the Biodynamic transition one year ago. Starting with certified organic vineyards makes the transition easier, but the learning curve into the wonders of Biodynamic agriculture is steep. From preparing their own compost to learning how to create and apply the many prescribed preparations required within the Biodynamic system, the entire winery staff have been immersed in education. This year the winery began to create their first preparations, burying cow horns with the elements that will age to become the rich compost-based applications. Biodynamic is “regenerative farming,” leaving the land better than it was found by improving soil fertility and thus, farm vitality. Biodynamic farmers create their own on-farm remedies called Biodynamic preparations instead of importing chemicals. These “preps” are made from natural materials, and improve soil microbiology and fertility, enliven compost, and improve crop photosynthesis.
According to the Biodynamic Association: “Biodynamic compost is enhanced and enlivened through the use of six preparations made from yarrow, chamomile, stinging nettle, oak bark, dandelion, and valerian (#502, 503, 504, 505, 506, and 507, respectively). Each of these medicinal herbs is transformed through a unique process that brings it into relationship with the animal kingdom, the earth, and the cycle of the year. Bringing these elements together magnifies their healing qualities, fosters the growth of beneficial bacteria and fungi, and creates powerfully concentrated substances to guide the development of the compost.”
Patience is Key in Biodynamic Transition
The winemakers of the Iranzo Perez–Duque family date back to 1335, and have always been dedicated to organic production and preserving the biodiversity of the vineyards, which are surrounded by a wildlife refuge. But it is the current vineyard manager, 33-year-old Alfonso Iranzo Jr., who has taken the leap into Biodynamic conversion. “In the transition phase, all of us at Bodegas Iranzo have been learning to work with the rhythm of the plants as well as the planet. I really believe that Biodynamic agricultural techniques will result in even better and more dynamic wines. In these beginning phases, I along with our Biodynamic consultants are constantly training and teaching everyone working in the vineyards the benefits of waiting for the optimal times for every aspect of growing, pruning, harvest and production. It’s truly been a lesson for everyone in trust and timing.”
Much like the well-known Farmer’s Almanac, there is a Biodynamic Calendar that lays out optimal times for every aspect of wine production from vineyard management to fermentation. “Our grandparents had always farmed like that, using a farmer’s calendar to guide them as to when to plant, prune and harvest, said Iranzo. “Like modern-day Biodynamic farming, they learned how to use the lunar cycles as a general guide for farming practices, and they worked to enhance the farm’s overall biodiversity by regenerating the soil.”
Breathing New Life Into Tarantas Tempranillo Through the Vineyard
Some of the older farm equipment once utilized in the vineyard, but long forgotten, has been resurrected. “One of the preparations must be applied on the leaves, with a gentle machine that must be dedicated to that use,” said Iranzo. “We renovated an old tractor that had once been used for organic copper applications. We have found ways to eliminate the need for these traditional applications and are instead working to feed the plants and ultimately the soil. This creates vines that are more vigorous, with less need for protection from insects and other issues in a conventional vineyard.”
Animals will be incorporated into the vineyard more than ever before. “We use local animals such as sheep to graze and help eliminate weeds. We are also allowing cattle to roam in the vineyards, which helps to both fertilize and to break up the soil with their hooves-a natural form of tilling to help aerate the soil. We have also found that with this and everything else we’re doing in the vineyard, we have less of a need for irrigation. The vines can get what they need from deep down as well as natural moisture coming from the surface.”
Bodegas Iranzo – Makers of Tarantas Tempranillo Crianza
Located in the Utiel-Requena DO region near Valencia, Bodegas Iranzo has exclusively produced Spanish organic wines since 1994, making it one of the oldest-established vineyards in Spain to apply this European organic regulation. The first recorded written evidence of the vineyard Cañada Honda Estate owned by the Iranzo Perez–Duque family dates back to 1335 as granted by King Pedro I of Castilla. The present house of the Iranzo Pérez-Duque family in Requena was built in 1794, and is classified as a Cultural Heritage site by the Valencia Regional Government.
Traditional artisan organic wine making craft passed on to four generations combined with organic agriculture on lime-crusted sandy soils within a National Reserve Park. The result are superb Spanish organic wines. Tarantas Tempranillo Crianza is currently Made with 100% Certified Organically Grown Grapes, Certified Vegan and Non-GMO Project Verified. The new look for Tarantas Tempranillo as well as the Biodynamic transition will surely catapult this best-selling organic wine to new heights.