Vineyard soil types

The cultivation of wine is a delicate process involving multiple factors that must be taken into account in order to achieve the desired result. There are basically three characteristics external to human intervention that determine the quality of wine: grape variety, soil and climate.
In this first post we are going to focus on the floor.
So important are the conditions of the soil in which the vines are planted that experts estimate its weight in the excellence of the wine obtained to be 30%, second only to the grapes themselves.
Basically, vineyard soils can be classified into five general types:
1-Alluvial or stony
Due to their texture, they are the most suitable soils for vine cultivation, since they facilitate permeability and drainage of the vines. This is the case of two of Familia Martínez Bujanda’s estates: Finca Valpiedra and Finca Montepedroso.
The first, located in a meander of the Ebro River, takes advantage of the limestone boulder soil typical of the riverbanks in the northern area. Another beneficial feature is that the light color of the edges reflects sunlight, thus helping to regulate the temperature of the plant.
Finca Montepedroso also has an alluvial soil, although with smaller stones, cantillo rodado, it has lower surface humidity, since the surface water comes from a well.
It is a soil that optimally retains the water and nutrients necessary for the grapes. These soils can produce wines with great volume, but not very high alcohol content, and with a notable presence of tannins. In Spain they can be found in vineyards in La Rioja, Ribera del Duero, Cigales, in Mediterranean areas such as Alicante, etc.
This soil needs little water, which saves on vine irrigation. It also causes the plant to mature in less time. The wines obtained are usually smooth and with low alcohol content. These soils are characteristic of areas such as the Rias Baixas, part of Madrid and the central plateau, Ribeiro…
Soils of solid and more or less uniform rock. They allow the plant to reach a progressive maturation, not very fast. Its wines are characterized by being aromatic and clean in taste. They can be found in areas of Galicia and Madrid.



They are soils with little organic matter and that do not allow the roots to go deep into the soil. Another characteristic is that, by reflecting the sun’s heat, they help the vine to reach maturity earlier. They produce wines with higher alcohol content, with mineral notes and complex flavor. They are typical of regions such as Priorat or El Bierzo.
In these soils its structure keeps a balance between clayey, sandy and silty texture. This is the case of Finca Antigua, where we make a variety of wines linked to each plot with its particular climate and soil conditions. In addition, Finca Antigua’s soil is poor in organic matter, which, together with its high altitude, helps the wines to acquire character and finesse.
Another relevant aspect of soils is their mineral composition. For example, if they have a large amount of iron, the blue tones of the wine will increase, while a chalky soil such as those of Finca Antigua or Finca Valpiedra will provide more elegance, because calcium influences the thickness of the grape skin and therefore promotes the accumulation of aromas and pigments.

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