While nearly forgotten now, Utiel Requena was crowned one of Spain’s first DOs in the 1930’s. Approximately 45 miles off the SE coast of the Mediterranean, within the Comunitat Valenciana, the arid, harsh climate from the northwest welcomes the strong Mediterranean influence of warming wind. The high altitude sites in Requena (1000m) are dotted with poor, organic soils of river rock, clay and limestone, making it the perfect setting for pesticide-free farming practices.

Utiel Requena is also the home of one of Spain’s most widely planted, and often overlooked red varietals, Bobal. Given the high elevation and acid retaining soils, Utiel Requena is also one of the seven regions permitted to produce sparkling wines brandished with DO Cava.

Bodegas Coviñas, founded in 1965, is a union of the area’s most prominent landholders. It was founded in efforts to create a distillery to utilize the abundance of must from their individual wineries. During the dismal times under the dictator, General Francisco Franco, the lion’s share of vineyard production came from unionized cooperatives that employed thousands of landowners. Bodegas Coviñas has always strived to take care of the people of Utiel Requena, paying top dollar for the highest quality fruit – becoming the foundation on which the region survives.

Diego Morcillo has been the winemaker at Grupo Coviñas for 15 years. Prior to that, he spent 5 years of work study at Bodegas Faustino in DOCa Rioja.

The Wines

Utiel Requena Blanco ‘Aula’

100% Macabeo planted to limestone and clay soils at between 600-900 meters elevation. The many different plots of Macabeo are harvested over numerous passes beginning in mid September and sometimes into November. The individual plots and passes are fermented separately in stainless steel and assembled before bottling. Aged in the tank on lees for 2 months.

Utiel Requena Tinto ‘Aula’

100% Bobal planted to limestone and clay soils at between 600-900 meters elevation. The vines are 50-60 years old and dry farmed, many plots are farmed organically. The many different plots of Bobal are harvested over numerous passes beginning in mid-September and sometimes into November. Some bunchs are destemmed, some from lower elevations are left whole-cluster. Three-day cold soak, 30-day fermentation with local yeasts in stainless steel. Then the wine is moved to 5-6-year-old barrels for 3-6 months.

Utiel Requena Rosado ‘Aula’

100% Bobal planted to limestone and clay soils at between 600-900 meters elevation. Two hour’s maceration before saignée of free-run juice. Fermentation in stainless steel with local yeasts and immediately bottled.

Cava Gran Reserva Brut Nature NV

The blend of Macabeo, and Chardonnay. Methode Traditonelle. Spends 42 months sure latte before disgorgement. Zero dosage. 11.5% Alc.