Ermita del Conde was founded in 2006 by Marta Gomendio. It is situated at high altitude, around 900m, in the small and historic village of Coruña del Conde, to the east of Aranda de Duero in the northern province of Burgos. It takes its name from a small, 12th century Romanic chapel next to the winery. The bodega is just outside DO Ribera del Duero, in an area where small plots of very old vines are still in the hands of small family growers. Marta has acquired 16 hectares of these vines, mainly Tempranillo or Tinto Fino as it is locally called, and also some of the very rare, indigenous white variety, Albillo Mayor, capable of producing serious characterful white wines with medium to full body, rich in aromas and complex in the mouth, especially when carefully elaborated and fermented over its lees. These two varieties can be found growing together in the same vineyards. In fact, after DNA analysis, research by Juan Carlos Sancha, has indicated that Tempranillo’s ancestral parents are the white Albillo Mayor (known in Rioja as Turruntes) and Benedicto, a red variety no longer grown anywhere in Spain. Marta also controls another 7 ha of slightly younger vines. The grapes are picked by hand in small, 18 kg crates. The production methods are 100% organic, with no use of chemicals or artificial fertilizers in the vineyards.
Recognizing the quality of her grapes, Marta built a state of the art winery designed to make wines that would let this quality shine and truly express the particular, high altitude terroir. Special features of the winery include a cold storage chamber for crates, twin belt selection table for sorting both grape clusters and berries, gravity fed, small volume fermentation tanks both of stainless steel and concrete and French oak barrels of different sizes: 225l, 500l, 2500l and 3000l for the malolactic fermentation and for ageing the wines. Their winemaker is Pedro Balda, an agronomist with an Oenology PhD from the University of Rioja. He is widely recognized as one of Spain’s most talented and promising young winemakers and was chosen last year by “The Drinks Business” magazine as one of the “Top 10 Winemakers to watch in Spain”. He shares with Marta the philosophy of allowing the unique terroir and the high quality of the vines to express themselves clearly in their well balanced, juicy, vigorous “mountain wines.”
Since the very first vintage, the Ermita Del Conde wines have always been rated above 90 points in the prestigious Peñin Guide.
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