by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German Philosopher (XIX century)
Our vineyards are certified organic since 2002, being frontrunners in Spain.
We inherited an estate with a great history behind, and we are responsible to keep and upgrade. We believe great wine means great vineyards, so since more than 25 year-ago, we stopped using pesticides, chemicals and herbicides which kill life of soils, and condemns the vines to become no-soil, no-personality and no-uniqueness.
Casa Los Frailes’ dry-agriculture, lack of water, and limestone poor soils are extreme conditions which force our vineyard roots to deepen as much as possible down the ground searching for nutrients and humidity. It is down the ground where they find the typicity and uniqueness of our estate. Average yields are about 2.500 kg/Ha.
To support the vineyards on this process of searching the uniqueness of the climatology and the geology, we help our vineyards applying biodynamic agriculture.
130ha out of 162ha of Casa Los Frailes are devoted to vineyards. The rest are almond trees, olive trees and Mediterranean Forest. This diversity in our vegetal world is very important to create enriched life, avoiding uniformity with monoculture of vine-growing (as currently is worrying happening in France).
We have brought animals to intensify such diversity: sheeps, chickens and bees. Sheeps groze on cover crops among vineyards. Bees pollinate flying more than 5 kms daily, thus creating ecosystem diversity for other animals to belong to a living farm as an expression of life.
A flock of 1,000 sheeps graze among the vines and provide us with compost, essential food for our soils. Sheeps stay in our estate during winter time, eat the cover crops among the vineyars, and the manure is composted during several months to give it back to mother nature.
In winter we work with cover crops of legumes, gramineas and brassicas highly resistant to drought. Such plant covers soften the soil, allow water drainage and support biodiversity among vineyards. They are as well very useful to avoid erosion.
Together with competent agronomic management, we apply biodynamic preparations, above all 500 and 501 to bring soil to life, regenerate and develop it.
Farmers in our región, Terres dels Alforins, used to work according to lunar calendar and they are still practising those farming methods (for instance, you can only compost in waning quarter). We respect the traditional farming methods and follow the lunar calendar with confidence.
Daily observation of our vineyards led us to understand and feel that we all belong to a universe and that understanding is only achievable with sensitivity but not with judgement.