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Ribera del Júcar Protected Designation of Origin: the link between our soils and our wines

Professionals of the UCLM (University of Castilla-La Mancha), of the IVICAM (Institute of the Vine and Wine) and of the agri-food cooperatives have started a research project that aims to analyze the land of the protected designation of origin and its inf


The reason behind the originality of the Ribera del Júcar Protected Designation of Origin wines, from the province of Cuenca, is to be found in the peculiarity of its soils, hence the reason why the designation of origin itself has accepted to form part of a research project, which will be directed by professionals from the University of Castilla-La Mancha (UCLM), of the IVICAM (Institute of the Vine and Wine) and of the agri-food cooperatives, who will all comprehensively analyze the Cuenca designation of origin land and ratify the influence that the soil has on the peculiarity and quality of the wines that are produced in the area, hence demonstrating the link that exists between the land and the wine. 
Javier Prósper, President of the protected designation of origin, has stated that research is an area to which they have always been open, “we are not wary of anything and we are quite aware that research in the viticulture industry is absolutely fundamental; it is actually thanks to research that it has been possible to improve many agricultural techniques and even open up new horizons.” 

In this case the idea is to corroborate the link between the soil and quality and the originality of the protected designation of origin wines, “we know that the quality of our wines is, in great measure, due to the constant work of our wineries and the commitment that our vine growers have with them,” asserts Juancho Villahermosa, “however, this study will reveal the key in that pertaining to the fact that our land is very peculiar indeed and it is precisely thanks to our soil that our wines have that originality that is much appreciated by our consumers.” 
More specifically, the idea is to study the geo-chemical influence of the plant and product that is obtained from said plant, that is to say, the interaction between the climate, the soil and the vine. 

The work team took the first samples of soil of the PDO Ribera del Júcar on the past June 1st. They then followed up with samples taken prior to the harvest, to then analyze samples of grapes and leaves in order to verify if the soil has any influence on their composition. 

As explained by one of the representatives of the project, José Ángel Amorós, “the soil exercises tremendous influence over the composition of the wines that are obtained, hence the reason why we want to make the originality of the PDO Ribera del Júcar more than evident, the same due to the different soils that are to be found in this area;” in fact, the idea is to describe between 10 and 15 soil profiles corresponding to the Ribera del Júcar.  

A detailed description of the soil is first made and the physical (color, structure, texture, density, etc.) and chemical (pH, organic matter, carbonates, active lime, nitrogen, phosphorus, etc.) parameters are analyzed, with special attention being paid to the trace elements and monitoring of the same in the leaves and grapes.   

“We have found an excellent level of collaboration from the protected designation of origin,” Amorós affirms, “and we hope to continue collaborating with them on more occasions.” 

Atlas of Soils
This research project saw the light following the publishing of an Atlas of Soils of Castilla-La Mancha, atlas that was financed by the Council of Communities. The objective behind the study is to identify and study the main types of wine growing soils of La Mancha, that is, to study these soils from a geo-chemical point of view in order to determine the influence of the soil on the quality and classification of the wines and use the chemical elements as tracers of the wine’s origin.
The idea is to create an Atlas of the wine-growing soils in Castilla-La Mancha, likewise researching the influence of the soil on the vine and the grape. 

June 3, 2011


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