Mil Cepas is a red wine made by Manuel Manzaneque Suarez. It is a single vineyard wine produced from a single plot of 30 year old Cencibel (Tempranillo) vines at Las Hoyas de Río Záncara un Cuenca. As a single plot wine it is labelled as a “Vino de Parcela” (a phrase I have to admit that I have not seen on a label before) and bottled as a Vino de la Tierra de Castilla.
EA Vinos is a wine project by viticulturalist and oenologist Manuel Manzaneque Suarez. Some might be familiar with the name, Manuel’s father Manuel Manzaneque senior, founded a wine estate called Finca Elez which was one of the very first single estate wineries in Spain to be given its own DO, DO Finca Elez. It was only natural that Manuel Manzaneque Suarez would follow into the family business. Manuel studied Viticulture and Oenology at Montpellier SupAgro in France and went on to work harvests in the South of France, Spain and Bordeaux. Eventually Manuel went on to be technical director of the family estate at El Bonillo, a job he did for 10 years.
In 2011 Manuel started his own wine project and in 2012 he left the family firm to concentrate solely on EA Vinos. The idea behind EA Vinos is to concentrate on indigenous grape varieties and to demonstrate that high quality wines can be in DO La Mancha. He has experimented with Bobal, Garnacha Tintorera and Cencibel (the local name for Tempranillo) from 30 to 70 year old vines. Manuel is also a consultant for to many wineries in the region, so I am sure he has good access to parcels of grapes! EA Vinos currently produce four wines including this one, another, fruitier old vine Cencibel called ¡Ea! and a red and a white wine called Fatum.
Mil Cepas is sourced from a single plot (0.9 hectares) of vines in a single vineyard located at Las Hoyas de Río Záncara (El Provencio, Cuenca). The soil is sandy with large pebbles, a poor and loose soil that offers good drainage. The vines here are 30 years old and they treated with minimal intervention and are almost organic, having had no chemical treatments since 2014. To make the best wine, Manuel insists that he starts with the best raw materials, i.e. the best grapes. To this end there is a lot of extra work undertaken in the vineyard including winter pruning, green pruning and green harvest. After harvest the grapes are gently pressed (15% whole bunch and not destemmed). There follows a period of cold maceration at 12c prior to fermentation at 24c in stainless steel vats using only indigenous yeasts. The wine is allowed to undergo malolactic fermentation in second fill French oak barrels. Finally the wine is aged for 14 months in second fill French oak barrels.