The Primum Bobal Association, which gathers together seven wineries from Utiel and Requena, imparted a seminar at Fenavin in which the potential of this grape variety was discussed
The National Trade Fair on Wine was the chosen scenario on the afternoon of May 10th to prove to the world that "great wines can be made with the Spanish autochthonous variety Bobal," according to that stated by Félix Martínez, President of the Primum Bobal Association, a grape variety that is predominant in the interior region of the Valencian Community.
The Primum Bobal Association, which legitimately saw the light in the past month of March under the protection of seven wineries from the areas of Utiel and Requena, introduced the professionals present at Fenavin into the diverse stages involved in the production of these wines. The same ranging from its traditional use as a bulk blend, right through to its promising present moment, in which crianza wine is being produced with grapes from old vineyards which have a minor production and that are cultivated in poor soils. A cask aged treatment "adds an extraordinary potential to these wines, turning them into age-worthy or high-end wines," indicated Félix Martínez, who was accompanied by the wine maker and wine researchers Daniel Expósito and José Luis Salón.
The wineries of Utiel and Requena that have joined this Association are Chozas Carrascal, Dominio de la Vega, Pagos del Molino, Dagón, Vera de Estenas, Pasiego and Finca Ardal. It is precisely the Director of this last winery, Luis Gil-Orozco who commented that "this is a hidden variety, used to mask the defects of other varieties, for example in the case of color, yet it has the same potential and quality as any other variety."
Wine was already being produced in the region of Requena, under the protection of the Cabriel River, 2500 years ago, in the fifth century before Christ, and nowadays Bobal is the basic variety that is planted in the 53,000 hectares of the Utiel Requena Designation of Origin. This variety was also used in other times of history by the Catalans and French to blend with their wines, because its organoleptic characteristics remain unaltered.
"There are certain regional varieties that are being lost because the market has imposed other varieties such as merlot, cabernet or syrah, but we must fight in order to differentiate ourselves and wager on our own regional varieties," Gil-Orozco added.
During the seminar Félix Martínez Roda also mentioned that the future of the Bobal variety resides in research, the same thanks to the agreements reached with the Universities of Valencia and Valladolid. The same in order to obtain grapes with looser clusters and smaller grapes and a final product that does not necessarily have to spend time in a cask, apart from the introduction of micro-oxygenation in the fermentation process "with the aim of commercializing quality wines for less than six Euros, wines that are fruity and rounded in mouth and very pleasing to the palate," the winery owner mentioned. The main clients of these high-end wines are the Northern European countries and the United States.