PAGO ESTANCIA PIEDRA
The main parcel of the vineyard Estancia Piedra comprises 35 hectares (86.5 acres) planted in 1968. The vines are free-standing (“en vaso” [Sp] or “en goblet” [Fr]) and have their own rootstock – i.e. are not grafted onto American rootstock. The planting density is the traditional 1000 vines/hectare. The vines are one of the purest clones of the indigenous Tinta de Toro varietal, with a small percentage of Grenache. The average annual rainfall scarcely reaches 300 mm. Due to the diversity of the composition of the soil, as well as the differences in orientation and altitude, the main parcel is divided into five sub-parcels:
Estancia Piedra 1:
This sub-parcel is the highest in altitude within the main parcel and contains 10 hectares (24.7 acres) of vines at an altitude of 762 m (2,500 ft). It is a West-facing slope and has the most annual hours of sunshine. The topsoil is a sandy loam with excellent drainage but poor nutritional value and with a sub-soil of a mixture of clay and a high percentage of chalk, ideal for enhancing the longevity of wine.
Estancia Piedra 2:
This is a sub-parcel of 7 hectares (17.3 acres) at an altitude of 750 m (2,500 ft). It contains the poorest quality soil of the main vineyard. Orientated to the West with a high percentage of gravel in the soil and subsoil with a high percentage of clay, it ensures complete maturation of the grapes, both in terms of sugar and polyphenols. This sub-parcel produces some of our earliest and balanced grapes.
Estancia Piedra 3:
This is a sub-parcel of 4 hectares (9.88 acres). It is a North-facing slope with an altitude of between 740 (2,428 ft) and 752 m (2,467 ft). The soil is reddish in colour due to the preponderance of clay. Grape maturation is normally slower so this sub-parcel is one of the latest to be harvested resulting in strong colour and polyphenols. The average yield is around 3,500 kg/Ha.
Estancia Piedra 4:
This is the lowest sub-parcel of the vineyard at an altitude of 730 m (2,395 ft) and is South-facing. The soil comprises mainly large-grain sand to a significant depth, giving the scant rainfall easy access to the water table and encouraging deep penetration of the root system. The yield never exceeds 3,000 kg/Ha, resulting in a very balanced grape sugar and phenolic maturation.
Estancia Piedra 5:
On the left hand side of the track that divides the vineyard, this is a sub-parcel of 10 North-facing hectares (24.7 acres) at an altitude of between 740 (2,428 ft) and 755 m (2,477 ft). The top-soil is simple sand and the sub-soil is a clay-chalk mix. Slow maturation of the grapes and yields of 3,500 kg/Ha result in very elegant wines from this sub-parcel.
Pago de Cantadal:
This parcel of 8.8 hectares (21.75 acres) was planted in 1999 and is situated at an altitude of 750 m (2,500 ft) with deep gravelly soil with poor nutritional value. The vines have a planting density of 2,200 vines/hectare on trellis system and are cordon trained and spur pruned to 3 buds per stem. The vines used were our own clone of Tinta de Toro.
Pago de Paredinas
On the opposite bank of the River Guareña from the main parcel of Estancia Piedra is situated the emblematic vineyard of Paredinas. It comprises 5.1 hectares (12.6 acres) of vines at an altitude of 765 m (2,510 ft) planted in 1907. The top-soil is largely relatively shallow sand and fine gravel with a sub-soil of sandstone with a high proportion of chalk. The vines are a very old and pure clone of Tinta de Toro planted on their own rootstock (ungrafted), freestanding (‘en vaso”) with a planting density of 1,000 vines/hectare. The yield is very low (below 2,000 kg/Ha) partly due to spur pruning but mainly due to the small size of the grapes caused by the age of the vines as well as the soil conditions and the low annual rainfall. The maturation is early and balanced with massive concentration in the fruit, making it ideal for making extremely elegant, long-lasting wines.