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Exploring Bodega Stratus

Friday August 8, 2008

Exploring Bodega Stratus

Now in its second year of production, Bodegas Stratvs is the latest addition to Lanzarote´s wine world. But despite its status as a relative newcomer they have already achieved recognition at numerous wine awards. Scooping up the title of Best New Bodega 2008 at the 7th Open Wine Assembly in Madrid and a silver medal at the 8th International Wine Competition Bacchus 2008.

The Appliance Of Science

Much of Bodega Stratvs´ success can be attributed to the high tech methodology being employed in the vineyard's production of its wines. Which is the result of intensive research conducted by the director of Stratvs, Alberto Gonzalez Plasencia. Who spent a year visiting other leading establishments around the world to familiarize himself with the most innovative techniques available in the wine industry.

Armed with this insight, he, along with impresario Juan Francisco Rosa, employed much of this knowledge in the development of the Bodegas Stratus. Resulting in the modern looking, almost cathedral like central hall where the wine is produced.

Thus combining the best in recent technological developments with the unique cultivation methods that have been adapted specifically to the soil and

The overriding concern of Alberto Gonzalez and Juan Francisco is to create wines of distinction - whilst also building a prestigious brand name.

Amongst the offerings currently available at Stratus are a dry Malvasia, with fruity, citrus flavours, an innovative red wine with aromas of mulberry and a sweet Moscatel which is the combination of a Malvasia grape and a Diego. A rosé will soon be added to the range.

Volcanic Vines

Viniculture on Lanzarote has a long and distinguished history, dating back 500 years. As even before the devastating eruptions of 1730-36 took place in the Timanfaya region, vines were being grown to produce the renowned Malvasia wine which was Shakespeare's favourite tipple.

As Poet Laureate, the bard was even paid in wine and in great quantities too, receiving 268 gallons per year from the crown free of charge. Malvasia's popularity owed much to its sweet flavour, which was the perfect antidote to the Elizabethan diet, when meat and fish were salted to preserve them. Lanzarote was one of the principal exporters of this nectar of the gods.

Nevertheless it was a considerable challenge to the farmers who remained on the island to see if they could still grow grapes in the harshly altered landscape, the product of the longest volcanic activity in recorded history.

Fortunately, it was discovered that the black picon which covers the La Geria region could be used as a mulch to provide much needed moisture for the vines.

Thus instead of creating row upon row of vines supported by fencing and stakes, the crop is grown in circular hollows created in the picon. These hollows, named zocos, help to protect the vines from the wind, which can easily scorch the leaves if they are too exposed.

The vines are never irrigated, drawing what water can be had from the picon alone. At times, the intense heat of the Summer months can have a deleterious effect on the grapes, such as occurred in 2007, when the vast majority of the harvest was ruined by an exceptionally hot calima (Saharan dust storm) in August.

Visitors to Bodegas Stratus can enjoy a guided tour of the building, with a full explanation of the different production methods being used. Apart from the opportunity to sample the new wines being created by the bodega, there is also a restaurant on site and a shop stocked with numerous home grown delicacies. Such as the best local goats cheeses made using traditional methods.

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