Winemaker in focus: Almudena Alberca MW

Okay welcome everybody To wsd school london’s uh winemaker in Focus This evening happy international women’s Day everybody and that is Today the 8th of march and it’s my Pleasure and To be introducing michelle shiriti koala Mw and Al medina alberta who will take you Through Um all the achievements of elmo over Winemaking and all her venus expertise Shortly Um but before we start just a little bit Of housekeeping You have the chat at the bottom of your Screen you can use that To comment or say hello but there’s a Separate tab at the bottom for q a so if You have any particular questions you’d Like to put to either michelle Or our medina then please put them in The q a section We will keep an eye on that and at the End of the interview We will go through those questions the Recording of the session if you need to Leave early or you missed any of it will Be Available from tomorrow on the wset School london’s youtube channel Or via our website um and you just go to The student information tab and webinar

Recordings So without further ado i’m going to hand You over to michelle should we to Co-world master wine To take you through this evening thank You michelle Great thank you lydia welcome everybody I’m looking at the numbers and i had a Brief look at the chat so i just want uh Elmo to know we’ve got people from all Over the world lots of people that are Logging in from spain people from italy And obviously from the uk So hopefully we’ll uh we’ll get more so Thank you very much Uh for joining us and spending whether It’s your evening with us or your Afternoon with us I’m really really delighted to interview Uh this lady Who is an amazing wine maker so let me Just give you a little bit of history What i what i want to do Is talk to amadina about How everything that she’s done every Role that she’s done Has influenced her as a winemaker and How she sort of put it all together To the role that she has now so to do That Although it’s a lovely picture of Meldina i just wanna I want to put the this next one up for You if my computer will work

The screen will we’ll share there we go Um just so we have something that you Guys can uh can take a look at And understand uh the timeline that We’re going to go through So welcome ahmadina or elmo as i call Her My friend alma thank you very much for Agreeing to do this and to Joining this i know you’re a very busy Lady and i think people will appreciate It When they see how very busy you are in The role that you’re currently doing But i guess i’d like to go back i’d like To talk about Your educational background so you Uh went to school you went to the University of Salamanca i believe in the thamora and You’ve got a degree in agricultural Engineering can you Tell everybody what does that mean you Can do The agricultural engineering was Specialized in Food technology so i was studying all Type of Processing of food from the most simple Process to the most complex one All the chemistry and biology behind Every type of Process like maybe in the wine business We talk about sometimes my reactions or

Is very popular when you do caramel Um so what is the process behind all of This and how you get Into different stages of that how can You Build a industry to Make or to process every type of food so About tanks about temperatures exchange Basically everything that you need to To become professional and moving from Your kitchen To an industrial process and as well it Was a wine Included inside this it was all the Process of One making process and biology and aging Okay okay all right so obviously you’re Uh Incredibly smart lady to be an Agricultural engineer So it was during your degree that you Became an Intern so if you look at the work Experience on the slide to the right That’s 2003 and you were an intern and You went to an intern at the cooperative At de soto And that’s in if people don’t know where That is that’s in the denomination Uh tierra delevina zamora so just i’ve Got a map in case A bunch of you were sitting there and i Know in spain you know this But in case a bunch of you are sitting

There going where is thamora So i’m just if you bear with me if you See where toro is in this map just go Due south of toro and that is the region That is the nomination That is thamora so you’re seeing you’re Seeing it just to the west of rueta Just to the south of toro and pretty Close to the Uh the border with portugal so let me Just go back to that Um so in in you got an internship You went to cooperative i’m i’m going to Assume They grew what black grapes grew temper Neo here Oh the cooperative um has a tempranillo And as well a lot of white Malvasia okay very natural but very Interesting because they have a lot of Albins even a lot of prephylloxera bites And i need to confess that the white was Very interesting as well but the area Was Specialized in tempranillo okay So from this experience from being an Intern There what what was the what was the Biggest lesson that you I’m gonna assume this is your first sort Of winemaking experience Yeah it was my go ahead It was my first experience and i wanted To learn everything

And i wanted to learn as fast as Possible is Something like is is my personality like I want to do everything And i was open to to do any type of job And the cooperative it was It was big in terms of volume of b Within the context of tierra del vino de Tamora which is a very tiny Deal um but it was only one one maker And a Seller can so i was doing the lab but The lab it was a very short period so I think i was Exposed to every operation like Processing grapes Cleaning fermenting pumping over Pressing Pretty much everything because i wanted To do it and they were very happy To have someone to want to do everything But i think In general i they they my the module Or the most of the hours that i was Working there i was cleaning You were cleaning and you were cleaning So if If you had to sit there and say from This work experience You know for you as a winemaker today What was the biggest what was the Biggest thing you took away from this Internship uh i I will say that i think it

I mean everything is important but for This I will take cleaning because it was It was a sort of old-fashioned Cooperative And i was a bit obsessed And they were very happy to have someone That was obsessed of cleaning so i was Cleaning all the times very thoroughly Because it’s really really important i Think probably 60 or 70 percent of the Work of a winery is cleaning and Sanitation And be sure that you have everything Uh very well done that’s great i mean i I often say that I know that no it is i say that to Students that i teach in diploma when i Do get to teach wine making that You know that that’s sort of the the Other side of winemaking that i think People we don’t talk to people about is It is hygiene and it it is absolutely Hot water Using hot water it’s just it is a couple Of times that i’ve spent times in a Winery That’s what you do you clean or alcohol Using distilled alcohol to clean the Tanks it is just Absolutely clean all right good and i Have time To to think about how to organize a full Year

To avoid getting to harvest like this Really Yeah i was thinking like these people Need some protocols And how to teach people to clean Properly of course Because you need to have all this Knowledge to understand the All the process with acid and basic Products And the different type of products that You have So that so that’s interesting so that’s Really your your degree in agricultural Engineering come in coming into play Here for that sort of first rule so You’re saying that i need to define Protocols and i need to define a process For them for a better cleaning schedule And anybody who does sort of You know study winemaking you know Quality control Insurance qcqa is a huge part of that And i end up doing my research paper for The degree doing a a Carter analysis process for a 180 oh did You so you’re saying For engineering okay so from that In and around the same time frame or Shortly thereafter You became assistant winemakers so venus Del Finite uh in the same location so we’re Looking at tierra del vina de famoura

How did that how did that rule come About How did you get that rule it was a Very like a coincidence of life So and there was a A group of a people in spain It was the one of the major importance Of spanish wine in U.s and a very well-known journalist and A Wealthy guy very related with wine That they decide to make a trial in the Area because they thought that it was a Very high quality Area for tempranillo and they want they Wanted to make a High class or very high quality wines From there So they were doing a trial in the Cooperative When i was doing my internship so I got to meet them and because i was Very cleaning lady I was doing everything like with a Professional Way of doing no and i think they could Trust on me because i was doing Everything That when i i know i it was um It was part of my study so i i wasn’t i Didn’t have a Earning or i didn’t i wasn’t earning Anything uh So i was doing it well because i wanted

To Make it well just for being Perfectionist i will say okay So it was the opportunity to meet them And they offer They they like the the trial They were eating the wines during the Winter and they loved it a lot they were Working with some other journalists and They decided To build a winery in 2004 so they were Building the 180 In a spring between spring and Harvest and they call me in summer like We want you to join the team for For the next harvest brilliant Wow so that’s a that is a real Coincidence that’s quite amazing Yeah did you ever think you were from Agricultural Engineering from your degree that you Would end up in winemaking No if i need to tell you the truth i Didn’t think about it at the Beginning because i remember my My one of my bosses asked me like what Do you want to do anymore i was like Very excited about Everything no and i told him like i Don’t know because i like everything I like to make cheese or cookies or Whatever i was Very passion about all the Engineering process in general and

I i did this and i could be doing other Things so it was just total Coincidence as well that’s amazing okay I met also in the experience i met amy Amy hopkinson which she’s from new Zealand And i think she she started to Inject me a little bit of the passion About the wine so Opening my my brain and my mind to Other walls and i think probably this Was the The most exciting thing that moved me Into the one business at the beginning So let’s go into that so so you so you Started that so they started this winery They built this winery vinas del finite Um and that’s when you met amy hopkinson So she’s a new zealander and had been What making i think making wine in a Bunch of different roles in spain Um and so she you you and her you know Really kind of started this winery Together what what were the roles what What what was sort of what was she doing What were you doing you were assistant Winemaker at this time What does that mean you were you were Doing in the creation of this winery Basically because we were the two of us Um For 2004 carvers we also have one friend Of care From england and one friend of her from

Australia and so we were the photopass In the middle of tamora which is very Isolated area Very traditional um so amy had the All the experience with the wine and the The knowledge about how to taste the Grapes or She was very good taster so she was very Focused um [Music] More on the real processing of the one Making And i was supporting her with the rest Like Because she was speaking very little Spanish as well So i was setting up the lab Setting up all like the Computer systems setting up all the Engineering things like electricity Uh the cooling system Speaking with the people that were Setting up the tanks so basically the Rest of the things so she was focused on The wine And she was telling me like i need this I need the other now we need to do this So i was doing all of these things So you were fulfilling that clearly i Need you in my house when we do Renovations Anyway that’s another webinar So from that in between this time so you Stayed with fenik for quite a while but

In between this time You went and did a harvest in new Zealand i’m going to assume that was Sort of with amy’s influence How did you get there did you need to Get uh You know did you need to get permission To be there like you know did somebody Set you up the role so you went there For a harvest talk to me about that Yeah of course It was a her idea like She because new zealanders and australia People Always travel a lot and she told me like I would do you want to make a harvest in New zealand i never thought about this Because i was like i think i was like 24 Or 25 which now i’m traveling a lot and In my last 10 years probably i traveled For all my life but When i had 20 25 years uh I didn’t have the money and i didn’t Have the time and It wasn’t as usual as it is now to Travel This far at least in spain with the Spanish culture And i’m coming from a normal family so I need to work in order to have money to Travel to somewhere Um so i decided like it sounds like a Good idea

And i thought at the beginning that i Was going to work like four or five Months Infinite so i did my My numbers and i thought okay i have Money for the ticket and if i’m going to Work there i will have some money to Survive So i told her yes and i gave her my cb And she helped me to put it in different Ways because i had a degree in Engineering and i had already You know it wasn’t too much but i had to Harvest on On my own um i Found this opportunity in Vidal by the state in hawke’s bay Belonging to vila maria group and I went there Okay so so so what did i make somebody’s Asked if you did you have to get a visa To go to new york i need the visa um It’s very complicated to get there you Need uh In order to get the visa as a worker you Need a Formal or serious contract with a Company the company is telling is Telling The government that you are going to Work with them you need to Give a money deposit or show that you Have at least A certain amount of money just in case

Something happened you can survive And you need the the plane ticket Back and forward and i don’t remember Okay i think it was this was a Basic and they wanted to offer me a a Room in a house inside the winery And it was basically in a sort of way to Travel To the antipodes because it’s the Antibodies from my city It was relatively safe okay but it was The first time in my life That i was a flying alone I only i i took one flight to greece Because i went with all my colleagues From the university And i didn’t travel in anywhere else and That’s it wow That’s a big trip it’s a big trend for Your first sort of solo trip So in this harvest in hawks bay How did what did what did you learn from That that you took forward in winemaking [Music] So many things because they work very Professionally Um i think i would say that they are Very Careful in the one making taking a into Account every detail So also the protective One making way like always protecting Protecting with Theotoges or inner gases basically

So i think also the focus on the fruit The the most important thing is protect The quality of the fruit and we are all There To to make sure that this fruit is going To suffer As less as possible until his process And Because i think sometimes depending on The places or at least Uh in in the previous year or when i Started in spain it was sort of less Important it was more important to Have capitality cultures to process very Fast to finish coverage very quickly But this wasn’t the case so the case was Make as best as possible from what you Have and Thinking that you have based on the best Of the qualities Since the beginning and also the Dedication And the passion and also a lot of Cleaning they were very perfectionist In that sense and i was a silicon and as A Vital experience for me or as a human Experience I was working with a very professional Team the majority of the people who Was one makers with lot of and several Vintages Around the world with a lot of Experience

Maybe 12 14 vintages and Or maybe two every year one in the north One in the west Or in the south and for me this was like Thinking about like if you want to be One maker you need to be The best and you need to or This was the first time that i thought That i want to be a winemaker And to be a maker i need to get ready Very fast and very well because if you Want to be one maker It’s not going to be easy because all of These people um They were a bit older than me some of Them and they were trying And trying and trying to get a position As a one-maker so it’s not that Easy okay so from that Cleaning still um but quality so just The protection of the fruit you just Learn that quality so when you say Protection i’m going to assume stainless Steel gases And professionalism so from this rule i Know you went back to spain i know you Only did one harvest there and you went Back to spain You went back to finite but you also Started your degree in analogy so that’s When you said you wanted Actually now to go back to school and And and to have a To have not just an agricultural

Engineer but to come out with a degree In winemaking as well Did you stop working to do this did you Work And do this part time how did that where Did that happen I was working um i was working full time Because if i need to tell you the truth I was having so much fun Uh fun working we were working a lot and Very hard Because the majority of the time we were The two of us Um but i was learning a lot And for me it was an incredible Experience and i wanted to keep it So i was doing my degree at the same Time that i was working so I used to work long hours four days a Week and go One day to the university okay and you Did this without me did this roberta del Duero so you went to the university of Winemaking college you’re very bothered Yeah did you go back and do that so You’ve got your degree in analogy you’ve Got a master’s in viticulture there as Well so you did that As well at the same time i was doing the Level two and the level three And then you were doing wsct because you Had nothing else to do i’m going to Assume so you were doing wsct level two At level three

I found that the tasting experience or It wasn’t enough at the university or at Least I wanted to learn more so it was so i Thought like oh why not I can go for a week in london learn a Bit of english and Get better on my tasting skills okay So in 2007 you became head wine maker so I know that amy left and you became the Head wit i had wine maker there So your first sort of chance kind of to Be in charge And then in 2010 you had finite but you Also had Uh domino a tauta in roberto del duero So talk to me about that experience if We take a look where we are robero del Duero so you had the two of them So you you had the two you had the two Rules for And how long did the two worlds last was That five years before both worlds Yeah so you’re making wine and both so So When you went to dominio when you went To auto Talk to me about was this i know you Were in charge of Fenit but a tauta this was brand new It was yours it wasn’t started by Somebody else you came into this winery Is it fair to say that This was the first time you felt i can

Take this and i can Do something with this and this can be Sort of my Yes yeah in a way yes it was a Different different moment as well of my Life but Probably i was in a Different human situation Or and i had this feeling like i’m going To take this because i had i I wanted to to work outside tierra del Vino It was something that i wanted to do it I wanted to jump into rivera delguero so It was more like A more intense experience for me And yes probably i felt like like you Said Like okay now i’m going to show up what Can i do In a better known area and in a In a better known one area as well so What changes did you make In a tauto what did you do when you First came there So if um in terms of the two projects They were sharing that both of them were Looking into Very high quality wines Also they were sharing the variety Tempranillo But and also they were sharing that the Tempranillo was very orbiting Located in a very a lot of small parcels

Um there was two big differences between The two One was the the soils In tamora they saw is a more regular Soils like Normally sandy underneath and No a clay underneath and send it on top And in a thought there was a big Variation of soils With a antiography was a More Different it was a small valley within a Big valley with which is ribera delguero Was more intense and Leaving out so many different soils and As well Depth of soils it was very short above Soils it was A calcareous rock a lot it was clay it Was sandy Different location and exposures so it Was a It was a bigger variation and also it Was a very cool climate Uh we are talking that both areas belong To the puero river Area but atauta is a one thousand one Hundred meters altitude very close to The mountains or high elevations In spain high elevations of two thousand Meters and uh River valley but close to the to the Portugal border More or less in the center of the

Plateau that The area is a plateau flat in the middle But with high elevation but this In this area was like 700 750 meters It was a warmer climate uh easier In a way to to cultivate i will say that Probably by nature it was a Organic area so it was lazy with Cultures that i always say that they are Lazy because the weather and the climate And the variety Is so good that they don’t need to do Anything okay Ribera del duero is the change you have Very short Especially in a taota you have very Short a period for ripening the grapes Something between mid of may until Mid of september where you need to be Very professional on your Viticulture techniques and also you need To deal with the final Roundness of the grapes in order to find The Ripe the better ripeness Or the redness that you are looking for Make high quality wines Okay and it was this was the um The big picture of the area so So for you so you’ve got see so so now You’ve got a Vastly different sort of ripening and Different from place to place How about the winery what did you need

To do in the winery Well the one it was a massive job I will say that it was a full Transformation And because it was a very nice winery Where the one it has short History where they were doing very high Quality wines but Um in some certain points The the one area start to have several Problems about microbiology So basically it was i was using all my Knowledge and my scientific knowledge About Microbiology building materials Cleaning all the cleaning process Possible in the world I always say that i was using my Engineering brain in order to get Organized there because it was Um so many things to um To resolve and in a very short period of Time because i started to work in august Uh Harvesting was at the beginning of October so We need we need to group the wines in in Quality Um you know the relative quality that we Were having at that point And how to sanitize or sterilize The wanted before harvest um So the first part of the job it was that That should be very quick it was one

Month and a half where we need to get Organized everything like Save the wines the ones that were able To be safe And to Project them into the future um Take apart those ones that wasn’t uh Okay situation And set up the quantity and at the same Time time Learn about the ripening season That it was going very fast and very Quick wow In a second stage we were Thinking about the the building and the Winery And i started to do a strategy to to Recover The the fermentation room and the Battery room in order to have a proper Place To keep the very high quality that they Want That we wanted to make it and this all Of this it was Without making any noise it was very Muted because It was something very inside the Quantity No one wants to start speaking about This Everywhere no you need to do all the job And Be fast and be quiet and go ahead

Yeah well you’re not going to you’re Going to sit there and advertise that You need to clean up a winery this is This is your new world that said Winemaker it’s not you want to make Wine and just want to improve them You’re not going to you’re not going to Run around those things happen Those things happen it’s normal Sometimes For whatever reason maybe you have too Much humidity Or the building is not in the right Condition or Is underneath or is Created into the rock or whatever and You start to have a More humidity uh than you want it and Maybe Suddenly you have a infection of Undesired microorganisms and Those are things that we already study And Those are things that can happen anytime Ideally you you don’t want them to Happen but It’s real life so can i ask a little bit About winemaking so now you’ve had Experience with tempranillo in two Places Quite well yeah cool and warm so how did That affect your Extraction how did that affect your Extraction of color your extraction of

Tenants Did you you clearly you would have had To change them i’m going to assume Between A tauta and fenit yeah We were doing completely different one Making Process while in Tierra del vino which is a warmer Climate with because it’s warmer you Have high concentration of sugar High concentration of final alcohol And as well normally you have a very Well Good brightness of the grapes so very Easy to extract All the tannins that you want and all The color that you need And everything so there we will focus More in open baths We have 32 open baths a With a like a bathtub um Shape and we were process processing Each of the parcels separately Okay so because You have more alcohol a lot of color and A lot of tannins you want them to Polymerize as as fast as possible we Know that polymerization Goes through a lot of times through or Is better to do it with Oxygen so we were doing a lot of Oxygenation and as well we were leaving The tanks to

To increase the temperature a bit more Maybe we were fermenting like 30 31 Something like this Because with this fermentation you can Evaporate A bit of alcohol and you avoid a Reductions due to a Problems of the yeast to survive to this Concentration of alcohol Okay so you end up with a clean wine Open wine With no reductive um notes Also protecting all the time before and After fermentation With inner gases and a lot of cleaning Because the square Tanks are very complicated um If i need to design now i will do it Round Easier for everything not a square But at the beginning was like a when It’s a square you have bigger surface Open surface so it has positive and Negative things While in rivera del vero and especially In atauta because it was a very high Elevation a very cool climate Um the one of the Most important things is to find the Right Uh rhinest moment because Even having a good ripening talents or Very good texture of tannins You are going to have always a bit of

Greenness or A bit harsh i think it’s part of the Beauty of these grapes And it’s going to be a maybe for a Longer aging But you need to be very careful about Avoid to extract the The very vegetab vegetal ones because The ones are Going to be always dry and always green It doesn’t matter what you make Because when you taste the wine it’s Going to be beautiful but green Okay so and the seeds In ribera del vero normally um So you need to take care about Especially Pumping over how many times you do Pumping over and Taking care about this in the different Moments where the Fermentation have when you have the cup Up or when you are going to have a lot Of seeds In the bottom so maybe is you need to Think about How many times you are going to make the Last or how many bumpy numbers are you Going to make Or how are you going to end up the Fermentation normally Longer macerations are going to give you More polymerization Rather than a lot of oxygen that we were

Using in the warmer climate Because we were having the Polymerization earlier and also A big difference between the two it was Depressing so pre Depressed wine for example in tor is a Amazing Incredible wine with a little bit of Edge the right oak and the right coopers You are going to have A 100 high quality wine In a tauta it depends on the years maybe The pressed wine You need to cut earlier and to be very Careful about The length so i mean that’s that’s Fascinating because again same grape but Different growing conditions Really affecting your wine making that Must have been For you it must have been quite Interesting and quite a nice challenge Because because for me when i read about You and i read about a tauta For me this is the first time where you Are given Lots of credit and lots of accolades Lots of parker points and lots of You know lots of recognition around the World not that you didn’t get that at Fenik because i know you got parker Points at the knee But it was really at a tauta that you Made your name you may you made your

Name talk to me a little bit about Talking about sort of the recognition And the sales after all of this hard Work you know Understanding your vines understanding The soil changing the way you do your Maceration and extraction Um talk to me about the sales and the Recognition what what happened with that Um basically when i joined the The project we uh they wanted it was Selling Around one hundred thousand voters and When i left Uh we were in three hundred 000 voters wow wow so basically It was um i need to explain here that There was two quantities in the same Small village one was focused on the Very high quality dominion data and the Single vineyards And also um by the Observation of the valley and the Different parcels and Thinking about the potential of the area And the Abilities around we launched a new brand There that it was parada de atauta so This was a part of the increasing of the Sales and the other one area was focused More in the Regular aging process of the wines in Rivera del duero That we were making a problem a small

Amount of reserva It was two separately one it is in the Same building it was like 50 meters Distant between the two okay so i’m Telling you The quantities are in within the two Quantities within the two wineries so it Was like Three and a half times more uh safe so This was about thinking about how to Make everything Um make more pure or Um i will say that Being perfectionist with the single Vineyards uh taking a lot of care about Each of the parcels that were going to Be part of the top wine Uh how can we build a a Forward easy but interesting style Um that it was paradox that it was the New brand Excuse me and how to make interesting Wines Uh with a regular aging within the area As israeli veda del duero Can be fit into the market so it was a Full um it was a full project Since creating wines thinking about them Since the beginning From the vineyards to the end wow Okay so from from there so you actually Left you left in 2015 and somebody came Knocking on your door so that is uh Where you are now group of bodegas

Palathio uh 1894. So you are now the technical director Uh what does that mean exactly Sometimes i think the same because i Think The terminology if i need to tell you The truth i don’t like the Terminology but i think it’s showing the Depth Of the work that that you make Um for me a technical director And this is how i feel it and how i Working with my team Is the person who is designing the wines And making sure that all the steps are Happening Like they need to be happening to do This A style of wine so making analysis about The My my basically my work here it was uh Understand the warning make an analysis About Pros and cons of every project listen The The objectives that the company had Um exchange with them What i thought and where are the Weaknesses and the forces of everything And i start to build up since the Beginning From there like i think this is okay or This not i think the style should be in That quality level

They should be looking like this are you Agree with this or not i think We are missing maybe one style of wine Like this And basically make the analysis Uh project this into the future and Make this happen so basically my work i Have Of course i work with a team of one Makers but My work is uh find the grapes Or think about the final wine because This is how my brain works And so we need these these these so i’m Going to find the grapes Find every culture is the right people Um The exactly what you need And divide into the different qualities And Decide the picky moment and until that Point I leave everything into my colleague And the fermentation we have protocols And Regular things i test regularly but i Have My the people from my team we are Working all together i’m very close Together But they are in charge of the daily Basis of The winery and i’m in charge of moving The things forward with the wines

So selecting grapes put in there and After that deciding Everything about aging uh where are we How are we going to design this wine for Example if we think in um A giant wine with a bit of fog like a Roble style so I will do like a sort of plan like maybe We are going to have some without Malolatic to have fruit A sun with six months in new oak just to Clean up the oak and 50 maybe in tank to Took off fruit and we are working these Wines with microscience In order to develop without oak but cut The fruit So this is a plan okay give the plan Check that everything is happening in The right way like tasting with them Regularly And they take care about this and after That final blends Preparation of the wine and also i’m Working With the marketing team and sales team In order to To align the projects that we are making At the quantity Into and into the market so just so Everybody Knows so tech i mean she’s very very Modest technical director but i’m going To give you the the next map

So you can actually see what she is Technical Director of so i know initially when you Started in 2015 It was vina mayor which is in ribera del Duero so that and that’s quite a large Historic winery there’s no I think over a million bottles get Produced so it was originally just vina Mayor Just um finka That’s quite a bit smaller i think There’s only you said to me around 60 000 bottles in that one And casario de duenas and roberto de Were so originally it was the three Does that make sense yeah then i don’t Know they just they just kept on Adding more to you or you said i want More because now you’re Now you’re doing now you’re working in Uh rioja You’re in valedoid you’ve got a project In uh Valdorrez you’ve got a project in riya Spices i mean i’m exhausted just just Yeah when you sit there and you talk About you know i think about what we Want i design the processes And then i run around and talking to all My wine makers So i look at this map and i’m thinking Do you live out of your car [Laughter]

I i know you’re in roberto duero but but You obviously are driving around And visiting all these wineries on a Regular basis are you not Yes which is truth is that ribera del Duero ruedantoro Are very close in the terms of Wine areas so i’m living in valladolid Which is in the center for me it’s like 40 minutes Going to ribera del duero 40 minutes Going to rueda And one hour toronto and bayadoli Is a city which is in the center very Well located So it’s one hour in trail if i need to Go to madrid Okay and two hours and a half driving to Rioja and three hours to valdeorra’s Andreas by says So basically the three Three projects are very close together And And the other two are a bit apart maybe I’m going once a month to each of the Projects and so that’s yes you do live Out of your car Yeah my my boss kept adding things And i have this terrible personality of Saying yes Okay i didn’t learn to say no So after two years of having the Wineries um I was sophie offered to to manage the

Vineyards because In rueda and toro we have small wineries But we have Xl we have 300 hectares in ruida And 90 hectares in total but we work as A professional interculturalist there Um so because i was focused i always I always go into the vineyards because i Need to check what is happening And i want to control the quality of my Grapes so because i was Uh digging a lot and i was saying like This is not enough quality we need to do This We are lacking that blah blah blah so my Boss told me like maybe you need to Be in charge of the vineyards and Because you are talking too much um And i say yes because for me i think uh Controlling the grapes that you are Going to get in the winery Or working as a professional Viticulturist From one speaking one makers to one Makers Um i think it’s easier because you know What you need And you know what your Buyers want about the graves no you Understand perfectly And i thought that it was going to be Better of course i Have one i have a colleague which is in Charge of all the administration of the

Vineyard And we have a vineyard manager and we Have a consultant Which is helping us to develop all the Projects because we are doing so many Things Changing all the way of working and In the process of changing into Organic vineyard and so it’s a Full idea of or 360 Turn around in the vineyard so of course There are A lot of people working there basically I’m telling them like I think this is important these this we Need to get these objectives Done or which are possible to make it Easier i want this And take care about the fields so i’m Going there and i check the qualities And basically Promote all the changes we are [Applause] Replanting 50 hectares And so many things so i thought that This was more important for me because i Was Going to use time uh With knowledge so i was going to use my Time in order to Increase the quality of the grapes that I was going to recite Rather than running at the back of a Vineyard manager that is not interested

In Increased equality sometimes Not everyone but sometimes they are more Interested in give the number of kilos Or the number of or the Total price and i think it’s a balance That you need to To think about it so i took it No i mean for me obviously you must have Confidence in your protocols that you Put in place for the winery that you Feel you can now switch And focus on on the vineyards as well Now i have to ask you because you you Have said to me before In private conversations you said to me You know i can go to a winery and There’s perfect grapes they’re perfectly Clean they grow very well But they have no passion i want Passionate grapes So by you being in charge of the winery Are you growing passionate grapes Can you tell me what a passionate grape Is Definition but but i think is um I always say that is the same experience That you have when you go to a Restaurant There are places that they can um Pass you the energy of their passion Through a wine through a dish Through everything i i believe in energy And

In the passion that some sort of people Put in the things is that I um you are a master of wine so Sometimes you Drink a wine that even if you don’t know What it is You are feeling something different yeah There is something that is Um mexico going out of your glass And uh straight into your soul and There are no science behind that it’s Something that someone With a special sensibility Is able to do and with the grapes is the Same You can find very very high quality Top-class viticulturists in terms of Treatment of the vineyard or is that Ideal soil Ideal pruning vegetation is Perfectly green very well Put it if it’s a bush vine it will be Like a flower if not it’s a perfect wall Of Leaves very healthy The right amount of kilos and gills and Suddenly you taste the grapes and it’s It’s nothing this this grape is not Telling you anything It’s a very good grape to make a good Wine With no passion and i think At every quality level should be a bit Of passion

Okay even if you are making a Um six euros or 10 euros wine there should be something Special There that invite you to drink a little Bit more or to discover a little bit More out of this bottle Okay no that’s a that’s a that’s a great It’s a great explanation So i mean i could honestly interview you For another hour But um i do want to leave time for Questions So a couple of different things you’re Making white wine now Um so the past few years you’re making White wine how How is that different for you your most Your career has been making Red how is making white you’re making it Rueta you’re doing a project in rio Spices Is that interesting to you is it Different for you are the great Passionate it’s very interesting and i Became very passionate about it Um at the beginning if i need to tell You the truth i was doing tempranillo in Very high Quality places and very cool boutique Wineries and you think that you are The star of the universe and you don’t Want to make White because for

Whatever reason do you think that maybe Or maybe it’s Slightly boring or less interesting or Sometimes if you think like oh Verdejo but verdejo is an incredible Variety with A lot of possibilities so many things to Do with it And i was having so much fun doing it And we were doing also a sauvignon blanc In the in our Land of cassidy which i enjoy a lot If if someone asked me of the first Instance which is your Favorite variety i will never say Sauvignon On i will say a few of the reds and Maybe after the sauvignon A few years ago but i had so much fun Doing the sauvignon And playing around with the different Parts different picking moments tasting The graves Watching out all the differences and That i love it if i need to say the Truth And the white wine gave me the Opportunity to jump into the west part Of spain which is very atlantic so Getting to know a different climate with A different variety all the problematics With Within the small areas and learning Um keep learning on

How to do it and i enjoy it a lot and if I need to tell you the truth Now my heart is divided between red and White red and white okay is there any Is there any is there any other grape That In spain santa fe let’s talk about a Spanish grape that you’re excited to Either start learning about or you would Like to know more about I i would love to to keep learning and Discovering Uh my area castille leon i would love to Make i’m doing a memphia Uh from valdeoras but valdeoras ambiento They are close but the autograph is so Different that Is like a two worlds apart so i Will be very happy to make amentia from Virto I would love it and also the little Varieties pieto picudo And from the from the Mountains in avila very close to madrid And also My heart and my family my parents are From a bit More west from tierra del vino and in Arribas del duero which is Also a very small tiny dio and they have A several indigenous varieties with very Old vines there So i think i have a lot of to experience Around my area and i will i would love

To keep Experience here and also in asturias in The north part of Spain and i would love to make a Champagne You want to make champagne so you do Want to make sparkling you want so you Want to make a champagne or you want to Make some type of cabbage So something bottle fermented eh both Are fermented but i have a sort of Passion for Champagne i think there are something in Champaign that Or maybe in uk because i love the I love the uk sparklings i think they Have this purity this Chalkiness from a very cool place which I think they are more amazing than maybe Other areas Okay um how about a grape outside of a Spanish grape give me one grape that’s Not spanish that you would love to make A wine from I think the the one that i could love to Make First of all for me it’s very Complicated to choose only one because i Always want to Try everything but if if there are Something that i would love to make By heart it will be a pinot noir you and Most wine makers that i interviewed it’s Pinot noir it is fascinating because

It’s a challenge It’s not very delicate and very complex At the same time Okay and um the last question who is Your favorite wine teacher You i know it’s not the This is i’m telling you this is from my Heart I know that i love you a lot and i think You are a Great person and very great Colleague as a master of wine as well But you were one of my first teachers if I need to tell you the truth i think you Were the first one In the in the level two uh and Do you remember that i didn’t realize The first time that i met you again But suddenly one day you were talking And i said like oh you were my teacher I remember meeting you at an airport we Were i think frankfurt we were meeting And you looked at me and said you’re my Teacher and i said i recognize you Actually And you everybody i paid her to say that I paid her to say that No no you are very clear you have Everything very Well set up in your brain and in that Way that you have everything clear all The concepts You show and you learn [Music]

You teach to the people like this very Clear what are the most important things And after that i love your sense of Humor you can be very straight And focused and at the same time you can Be a Very nice and funny girl which i think Is a perfect combination To start in the wine business thank you That’s very very kind of you well i was I was very proud when you became a Mastermind so we are delighted to have You as mastered wine and You know for international women’s day When lydia and i were talking about who We’d like to interview you were the First person we thought of so I think thank you for people who don’t Know almo Is five foot two she is tiny but she is Mighty let me tell you And she is uh you know she’s amazing and And i think just gives you a little Taste of The energy she has the things that she’s Done her desire to learn You know somebody has asked you know how Long how long did it take you to do your Analogy degree part time i mean most of Us do our mw part-time You did urinology degree part-time and You just kept on learning As you were working doing during the Whole during the whole thing

So you know i’m going to assume how long Did it take you for urinology degree Part time and already it was easy pc i Did it On time because i am Because i was engineer before the Technology degree in spain it was two Years Two years at that time so it took me two Years and a bit because You need to do a research uh paper at The end And it was about the harvest and the Vintage Oh it took like it took me longer than a Master of wine This was a little a bit more complicated You were busy you were busy So there’s a question from the audience About women with purchasing power And knowledge about wine do you design Wine when you talk about I i think about the grapes i think about The wine do you design that with that That in mind do you think about the role Of women and purchasing power is that Does that set trends for you do you Think about that or are you just looking To create a great wine [Music] I think of course womans are changing The way of looking at things as As you are getting different uh or More decision making

Uh jobs um but by the time that i’m Creating wines and thinking about what To make Um is not i’m watching into the market And i think with half of the brain as a Master wine Where you have a big knowledge and a Overview of the wine in general And also have my brain as a consumer What i’m missing In the market what i would like to be Drinking at a certain point Um do i find it into the places where i Go Or not and what opportunities Are there are in the places where i’m Working to fit Some of the things that are missing in The market okay and When i find these opportunities of Course i speak with my boss which is the Cio and i say like I think i can see this opportunity Disorder Like normally it’s like no no no let’s Discuss Discuss discuss give more arguments Now we always do like this because both Of us are very hard-minded so it’s like Do you so we get into an agreement And after that i start to work on it Well i mean i know you travel around the World too so that must influence you As as well you know what you see and

What you taste Around the world got a question for you And i know the rioja winery has now come Under your Uh un under your sort of uh Responsibilities it’s question about White rioja Um you know obviously there’s a big time In white rioja was quite popular it’s a Little bit less popular now It’s talking about the you the uk market Um What what do you think the future is for For white rioja Um i think the while ricocha it will Come Up again this is my i have this feeling Because Buddha and and the way of aging the Whites in rioja i think is High class high international class Wines um They ate in a so much beautiful way that Those things never pass over on On fashion i think like everything In the world is doing cycles or course Like sometimes they are up a Bit down up and i think because they are So interesting And a completely different style than Others i think they will keep there And probably this is my personal feeling That we are coming from very clean Fruit forward wines and we are looking

Maybe to the opposite maybe more least Aging maybe a bit of oak and maybe A bit of age in the way that we look to The whites Okay so potential for that do you see That more in the restaurant side and the Ulrica side with food Because it is to me and age white rioja Is probably one of the Most flexible pairings i think you can Absolutely have Exactly exactly and also Incredible prices for For what they put into it what they do And how long it’s a no yeah Absolutely rioja From 2016 or 17 and suddenly it’s like 12 euros please i give you 24. Now no no it’s it’s it’s quite amazing Can you talk just i know we don’t have a Lot of time a little bit about Climate climate change i know you’re Working Within the vineyards and you’re working In some areas that are very very hot Very very dry what are some things that You’re doing To try and protect the future of these Grapes with respect to particularly Replanting Um in We of course i think we are we’re in a Period of a lot of changes Because there are big variations in

Every Harvest so every harvest er Became a completely new situation Compared with others It is getting very complicated to have This like the Harvest of the year like a harvest to Remember in the future Uh we are choosing like this is much Better than the other but we are not Finding these 2005 or these 2000s that are glorious all over europe I think This is going to be less and less so and I think The the major problem that we are going To have is water of course Because what is going to become the Petrol of the future so i think we need To work Very carefully with that i’m thinking About A lot how to manage this so for example In our new plantings we are Putting them irrigation Underneath or like 50 centimeters Underneath In order to save like 30 of the water as Well we are changing varieties to be More adapted into the Area when you say changing varieties are You Like local varieties native varieties or Different clones

So you’re using more we are adjusting The root stock And changing into varieties that are Less Demanded of water but i think for me the Other thing that is going to happen Which is very important and it’s going To impact Is the the climate is changing The environment so I think that maybe pests and diseases Are going to be Changing as well so i think It could happen very easily the same Thing that is happening with covet for Humans And we will have different pests and Diseases that will be A attacking our vineyards and our places So for me for that i think one of the Most important things and the major Things is Uh to increase the biodiversity of our Lands avoid the mono Cultivar azabina and give all the Chances to Our venus and to the ecosystem To develop as much as possible so Because as rich as The ecosystem of your place um You will be stronger to fight with that Sort of pest or disease that Could be entering into your place wow Fascinating so for you when you talk

About vintages so you’re saying your Most challenging vintages are yet to Come you’ve got Challenging vintages every year yes Really every year because of climate Change yeah everything is getting very Strange Like a lot of water when When normally we don’t have water uh Very dry years because for example last Year it was okay Because last year we have um Twice of the amount of water of a normal Year Within the six six per month so between January and june we have More or less uh two or two and a half The amount of A normal year but the previous years we Were half of the north the The amount necessary to grow up a Grape vine so if you have only 200 for Example in total in 2019 We had almost or maximum 200 Millimeters of water so this wasn’t Enough to To build up a Healthy grape vine we we were doing Irrigation Just to try to level the normal amount Right so we have very very low deals we Were coming like 2 500 kilos per hectare 3 000 kilos in Um

In a a training system Where you could be having seven thousand Easily Because it was so all the years are Being like this very extreme either Because you have a lot of protein in a Certain point or even because it’s very Drought Or the temperatures when it was it was i Think Um 17 or something like this i remember Coming from madrid And when i came out of the train it was Like putting a hairdryer into your face It was like 42 44 degrees celsius Okay five afternoon in june When all the flowering uh on the less Than [Music] The a pea size Of the grapes when they are very green Just After the flowering wow everything and This was like Drying literally the grapes into the Vines you cannot do anything with that Yeah even we were irrigating just to Give like a Sort of fresh air into the environment But it was Day and night for a week that’s that’s Amazing Go ahead no no all of this is very

Extreme um So more complicated to to set up A objective of your vineyard Yeah um can i ask you you know as as International women’s day as a female Wine maker are Are other female wine makers in spain Supportive do you guys have a little Group Because yes there are a couple of groups Now it’s very Exciting moment there are With a few journalists as well there are Very Good journalists with they have spanish One lover page which is In english and spanish and they are two Ladies which are very clever and very Nice They are supporting pretty much every They are supporting everyone but as well Women um there are um A a journalist or a sommelier Which is instagrammer as well um In in the east in barcelona creating a Group of images an canaan which is also A female 1 maker And they are supporting a lot to all the Women and i think We are we are a good number now And seems to be that all of them are Very Friendly and supporting and helping each Other

So i’m going to do the last one your Family did your Did you was your family in wine did you Attach importance to wine and food Did that how did that inform you uh my Family Can you make any questions here again so So with so so with your family did your Family place a lot of importance On food and wine food and wine matching Or Did you just grow up in a wine region You just drank the local wine In first generation my my My grandfather had a small vineyard so i Remember since i was a child to be Helping My grandfather my parents and with all The things but We were drinking just a sort of rose Normal jose or why a red wine So basically i’m er Became in the obsessed about the wine And food and for the matching and they Are very happy Uh and open for me To to experiment with them And when we when we went to To the to the celebration to the Of the master of wine i took my parents And it was the first time for them to Go into uk so i was very excited so i Want them to taste everything like oh Now we are going to

A korean and chinese and this and they Were like Everything was very good but the food it Was a bit complicated Okay great well i’m just gonna i’m gonna Wrap up with a couple of A couple of questions um from the Audience i’ve been trying to work these Questions in Um someone is talking about your um Your new role with um uh Uh you know you know mm-hmm oh yeah yeah So your new role with anno so you’re um So can you just tell us to just very Very quickly tell us what you’re doing With them Yeah they are a fine wine investment Film Yeah so now They have a sort good portfolio of wise Offering to Collectors and they want to increase the And they think that the spain has a lot Of potential And they want to increase the Presence of spain into their portfolio So they were looking for a brand Ambassador for the country And they offered me the position so i’m Really very happy I’m very proud of that and because you Have nothing to do Is that it you’ve got all kinds of free Time

It’s not because of that but I honestly i have enough with all my Work But on the other hand i I thought that i need this contact with The english people the uk market the Different ways of thinking Because for me it’s like something for The soul going a little bit out of my A regular daily basis at the juanity and It’s like having a fit into my other Passion which is travel and To look into the world with a different Glasses and i always wanted to work in Fine wine so i think it was like a Like the opportunity that i wanted and Also representing my country or helping Very good producers maybe to to be Closer to Collectors sure well i can be doing my Other passion which is One making yeah that’s great um another Question from the audience Um what advice would you give to someone Who’s looking to change careers midlife How do they break in to the wine Industry Ah if they want to to come into the one Industry This is i will tell them to do It because i think it’s a very Passionate and very Good way of living but of course they Need to be prepared and i will say that

The first thing that they need to know Is the level one two three or four Wherever depending on how much they know So but i think it’s fundamental and Totally necessary to learn about the Wines To know um what a white means And to have some international language To Communicate with other or with the Audience Because dental like cleaning and delight Cleaning [Laughter] Exactly Okay um and i think another question the Same the best way to go about getting an Internship Internship in spain so i’m not quite Sure how How you yeah i think getting an Internship or seeing if somebody wants a Free seller hand I’m sure there’s lots of wineries that Could use a free A free seller hand during vintage is That an easy thing to do during harvest We i i like to do it and We try to do it and we always have Someone from the university or from Different Study programs um Because i think it’s really good for Everyone for them and for us

Because everyone is coming with Different things that Everyone is a putting positive things And thoughts In the place from whatever point of view People that is happy to share a Very intense months of the year Altogether And i think if they want they need to Contact with One makers or or with me And or if they are in a study program Straight as well with the businesses Where they wherever they want to go And i think everyone is doing as much as Possible to And i think that’s one of the things i Think lots of study programs whether You’re at wset or at plumpton usually There’s You know there’s something about sort of Cellar hands so that’s probably To get to get your feet wet to get to Get in on the ground probably Doing some doing some free work is Probably what what what you would Be the floor yeah so clint clean the Floor Learn yeah like clean the floor um i’m i Know i know lydia’s going to come on It’s going to cut me off because we’re Running 15 minutes over So um i will wrap it up you know i think You’re an amazing i think you’re

You’re a dynamo you’re an amazing woman I just can’t believe you do what you do In your in your in your day job i think I think you’re incredible it’s been It’s been an absolute pleasure for me to Uh to interview you And to celebrate you for international Women’s day so thank you very much Thank you for giving us your knowledge And giving us your time And thank you very much for the harvest This year It was my pleasure as well and also you Helped me to Remember so many things that sometimes You tend to forget so And uh just to thank wset as well Uh wsct london and lydia for helping put This together and for all of you For giving up your time and and joining Us tonight i hope everybody has a good Night Thank you so much