Bierzo

BIERZO

The Bierzo region is situated in the north west of the province of Leon. Our vines are located in Valtuille de Abajo within the so-called Bercian Ravine where the microclimate has both Atlantic and Mediterranean characteristics and is ideal for the cultivation of the Mencia Climate The microclimate, which is entirely suited to the crops of the area, is mild, gentle and extremely temperate. It is governed by a certain humidity but at the same time a dryness which gives it a uniqueness, maintaining a moisture balance. To this another advantage may be added which is that the low altitude, generally, protects it from late frosts, thus benefiting the harvest. Rainfall is at its lowest in the summer and at its highest in the winter months. Over long periods the fluctuation in humidity is very low, going from sub-humid to humid or even to dry sub-humid but there are never such extreme variations as to be harmful to the vines. The most extreme temperatures occur in winter and summer with an average of 12.3ºC, showing a minimum average of 3.6ºC in the colder months and a maximum average of 23.6ºC in the hotter months. The average precipitation is around 721mm in an average year. The average number of hours of sunshine a year is between 2,100 and 2,200. Soil Made up of a mixture of fine material, quartzite, slate, the fertile plains, which form in the valleys, receive continuous contributions from the slopes. The vineyard mostly covers ground of dark moist earth, lightly acidic and, consequently with an absence of carbonates, typical of humid climates. The degree of acidity ranges between 4 and 8.5; usually in the valley it is over 6. The lime content is low, being below 3,000Kg/Ha except on the plain. Organic matter and nitrogen have a maximum of between 2 and 4%. The average values for the valleys are richer than the slopes owing to the greater level of agricultural activity. There is an acceptable level of humidification and nitrification, being that the ratio of carbon to nitrogen is 11.9 in the valleys and 11 in the plains. There is a scarceness of phosphorus in the area, the amounts being less than 100 grams which is accentuated on the slopes. The potassium oxide content is acceptable. The average values are 685 and 700 kg/Ha for the slopes and valleys respectively. Factors determining quality are that where the vines are situated very near to the river there is a small degree of incline on the terraces; they are half banked on the slopes or with a pronounced incline at heights between 450 and 1,000 metres.