Marques de Teran, first winery in the world to implement a geothermal energy system. The use gravity and underground deposits saves a great deal of energy
Marqués de Terán was the first winery in the world to apply a geothermal energy system in winemaking. Bureau Veritas has certified a resulting carbon footprint reduction of 82 percent. The winery was built in 2005 with vision to become a reference producer of red wines in Rioja Alta. It is located on a hill in the upper part of the village of Ollauri, overlooking the Ebro river valley and Sierra de Cantabria, Sierra de La Demanda, Ollauri itself and the surrounding vineyards.
The building is integrated into the landscape in line with the traditional architecture of the winery district that presides over the upper part of Ollauri, a mound where the locals have traditionally used the hillsides to excavate their characteristic cellar caves.
The winery’s building has been conceived around a cutting-edge production system in La Rioja and one of the most advanced in the world. Transport inside the winery is carried out through conveyor belts for best preservation of the fruit from the vineyard to the cold tanks.
Eighty percent of the building is buried in the hill to take advantage of gravity along the reception, moving and processing of the grapes. The four-storey layout enables production to flow entirely by gravity. No point along the processing of the grapes involves the use of pumps.
Grapes are instantly chilled on arrival to preserve fruit flavour
This technique used in the winemaking process achieves an outstanding presence of the original fruit flavours in the resulting wines. Through the adding of CO2, grapes are cooled down to 5°C. The stainless-steel fermentation tanks are equipped with an innovative "pissage" system that guarantees a smooth and gentle movement of the mass inside that enables the temperature throughout the deposit to stay between 5°C and 8°C during a period from 3 to 8 days to extract the maximum of colour, aroma and essence of the fruit.
Bodega Marques de Teran oak wood ageing cellar
The oak ageing cellar is 90 percent underground to ease the natural control of temperature and humidity. Barrels are 70 percent French and 30 percent American oak. Marqués de Terán use different cooperages, oak origins and toast degrees to achieve the precise results pursued with each wine.
Careful, manual grape harvest in boxes at Marques de Teran
Marqués de Terán nurtures 80 hectares of vineyards distributed in different plots near the municipality of Ollauri at a maximum altitude of 900m. This area of Rioja features an exceptional quality of its soil that favours low yields of high quality fruit. A technical department takes great care and closely monitors the vines. Marqués de Terán was born on the sound premise that great wines can only stem from high quality grapes. It is at the vineyard where the usual, apparent paradox of embracing modernity without abandoning tradition gains full meaning and visibility. The yearly care of the vineyards includes green pruning to remove excess buds, concentrate growth vigour on selected branches and ultimately reduce fruit weight in favour of quality and flavour concentration. Harvest is done manually, and the grapes are collected in 17kg boxes to avoid ill-timed crushing. Daily harvest arrives at the winery in less than 3 hours. This way freshly picked fruit enters Marqués de Terán in the best possible conditions, without crushing or premature fermentation.
Marqués de Terán has its own research and development department that works in close collaboration with official organisations such as the Government of La Rioja or the Centre for Industrial Technological Development (CDTI). In recognition for this research commitment, the winery received the Government of La Rioja 2007 Innovation Award for "successfully integrating tradition, innovation and sustainable development".
The winery is ISO 22000 Standard certified on Food Safety Management and ISO 9001 for Quality Management. It also holds a British Retail Consortium Technical Standards certificate and the International Food Standard to certify product safety in export markets and efficiency in all phases of the supply chain.
The town of Ollauri was under the rule of nearby village of Briones until the 18th century, when it became an independent municipality. Its urban set is one of the most appealing in the region. Several two-storey, ashlar stone palaces stand out from the rest. Their facades feature large balconies and carved coats of arms. The parish church was built in the second half of the 16th century; its tower, one century later. Ollauri has two main festivities: on 10th December to celebrate its patron saint and Thanksgiving on the last weekend of August.
Overlooking the village, on the hillside, ventilation chimneys rise from the numerous underground wine cellars. Some of these constructions date back to the Middle Ages.
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