Coviñas, the Utiel-Requena bodega (which is an important economic motor in the region) introduced their new Technical Director, Luis Miguel Calleja to the press in an informal event at their Requena HQ on Tuesday 28 January.
Actually, Coviñas is a conglomeration of 10 smaller bodegas which are situated around the DO, a series of town or village Coops, whose 3000 members grow the vines, and which then make wines, both to exacting standards dictated by the centre. The group can count on 10,000 hectares of vineyards which is around 40% of the total showing just how important it is in the area.
Former director Diego Morcillo took Coviñas on a journey of massive quality improvement, not an easy task where the members are looking for quantity of product to make the best price and the bodega is looking rather more for quality and less for quantity. In his time Diego had not only acheived this but also introduced new wines and demonstrated that quality pays in terms of sales, reputation and increased payments for grapes. There was a big expansion both in the size and modernisation of the bodega and its facilities and exports of wines to new markets.
Luis Miguel has an impressive career record of wine-making and the co-operative movement which we learned more of during the bodega tour and the presentation having worked in the sector in Extramadura and Castilla la Mancha.
We certainly got the impression that he was very pleased (and proud) to be at the helm of this organisation and that his thirty plus years working in this sector would stand him in good stead!
Coviñas is expanding.
The current bottling line currently fills 6000 bottles an hour from Monday to Saturday. Under Luis a new bottling line will be added shortly, almost all of the elements which make it up have arrived from various parts allowing the bodega to increase the bottling to 10,000 bottles per hour and introduce a line for bag-in-box wines.
Luis is clear that much of what Coviñas does it does well and to a good standard. But, he has indentified improvements which can be made and is looking forward to introducing new wines to add to the bodega´s impressive selecton of ranges from still white wines, monovarietals and top reds from Bobal together with cavas. Apart from bag-in-box, kosher wines and new products for export are either available or planned. Further exportation to markets in Brazil and Russia are being discussed.
We visited the bottling area and the laboratory as well as the barrel room before tasting some of the new wines from the 2019 vintage ‘en rama’.
Bobal is of course a major product for the bodega and Luis believes it is what differentiates Coviñas in terms of ‘typicity’ and he is convinced there is scope to do something with their range of rosado´s.
During the tasting we sampled a Macabeo, a wine which due to its acidity could well be destined for Cava production, a Verdejo which appears in the Aula range, a Sauvignon Blanc which is produced in the Al Vent and Aula ranges. Two Bobal rosados followed a very pale pink wine destined for Toro Loco, a range sold into the European market through Aldi and the Enterizo with its more common strawberry colour and bubble gum nose which is the classic style of the region. Finally we tasted a new crianza of Tempranillo and Bobal, with ripe fruits and good acidity.
Purely by chance we had shown four wines from Coviñas at our 102nd tasting for the Circulo de Pedralba just two days previously! The group visited the bodega in the Summer of 2018. The wines had been received very well.
VÍ Vid looks forward to our continued collaboration with Coviñas and welcomes Luis Miguel and we are sure it will continue to be a productive relationship!