Ruchel, rich wines from poor soil
The Valdeorras winery, which works with vineyards of granitic and slaty soils, has committed to a second brand, Cueva Baladal , to position its high end range Godello, Mencía and Garnacha in the market.
Bodegas Ruchel is a winery from Vilamartin de Valdeorras that has been in the market for nearly three decades. It started in 1989 with an initial launch 10,000 bottles of Godello, the wine on which the start of the company was focused. From 1998 it also incorporated Mencia and currently it has an production of about 200,000 bottles, more than three quarters are of Godello, the remainder being shared between Mencia and a small production of Garnacha.
The winery is committed to a philosophy of searching for wines “with the aroma of the earth”. “We supply ourselves from vineyards of individual partners and wine growers, but we are looking for them to have a common feature, hillside vineyards on granite or slaty soils, with poor soil,” they tell us in Ruchel-. “We believe that in such conditions, the vine extracts elements from the ground that allow for more aromas of wine in the mouth. They are vineyards with less production, but with more quality,” they value.
“In Valdeorras, everyone has their own philosophy. We try to maintain the tradition of our grandparents, when the vineyard was planted in soil where potatoes could not be grown, that is to say, in soils without humus, with little organic matter”, they point out.
Most of the production of the winery is reflected in Godellos and young Mencia, marketed under the brands Ruchel and Ruchel Secretos. The company also seeks to promote a high range, focused on selected and crianza wines.
In Godello, it produces a wine with selected strains that are at least 50 years old. “These are vineyards of which there are few in Valdeorras, because the Godello began to recover from 1980’s. These old vines have a low production but provide a grape with a differentiating characteristics,” they explain. The Godello, which is marketed under the brand name Cueva Baladal, is allowed to rest on the lees and is finished off with a one-month aging in oak barrels.
The Cueva Baladal brand refers to a family cave where, as was common in the region, the wine was preserved in olden times, as these were places that provided a constant temperature. In the future, the winery has also planned to market its Mencia crianza and Garnacha crianza under this brand, in an attempt to position both the white and red wines in a higher segment of the market.
“Godello wine is very round on the palate, with many aromas and became fashionable, but even so, we see that it is a little undervalued, so we are trying to find a way to position it in a higher segment,” they indicate from Ruchel.
The winery’s market focuses both in Galicia and the rest of Spain, with a small part dedicated to being exported to countries such as the United States and Belgium. In its positioning outside of Galicia, the winery benefits from the Galicia Calidade seal, which contributes to the wine being identified with its source, thus achieving greater recognition.
In its positioning outside of Galicia, the winery benefits from the Galicia Calidade seal, which contributes to the wine being identified with its source, thus achieving greater recognition