At Paired, BC’s new social wine club, we provide wine enthusiasts with the ultimate wine tasting experience. We help take the guesswork out when choosing wine. Our sommeliers curate a selection of hard-to-find wines from BC and around the world every month, shipped directly to your door! Members can also share their tasting experience at our monthly virtual wine tastings.
In celebration of Tempranillo Day on November 12th, 2021, we had the opportunity to connect with Maria Lopez Repiso, Director of Operations, of Bodega Sarmentero.
Sarmentero vineyards are in the heart of Ribera del Duero, Spain located on chalky-clayish soils and planted 100% with tempranillo. Amparo Repiso, fourth-generation winemaker, founded her winery in 2004. She started with just one barrel of wine, 60 gallons. That wine succeeded so much among everybody that she decided to keep producing wine and has been slowly increasing the production little by little to this day.
What makes Bodega Sarmentero special?
Bodega Sarmentero is a pure family-owned winery thanks to the effort and love of Amparo Repiso, 4th generation of winegrowers in the family. We believe in offering wines that really show where they come from, its climate and weather as well as our philosophy.
What inspires you to be in the wine industry?
Wine is a mix of art, history, and stories. Being able to know what’s inside the glass, understanding its history, who made it, why, what climate curated its character and the many factors that makes it unique, that’s something magical. We often don’t think about all this when we drink wine but when we do think about it, it makes being in this industry well worth it.
What has surprised you about being a winemaker?
Every vintage and wine is different, no matter how many times you’ve done it, there’s always something different.
In the spirit of Tempranillo Day, can you share any fun facts about this varietal with us?
It’s such a fun grape to work with! It offers such a huge range of wines, unoaked, oaked, rosé, etc. and all of them are so tasty! Its name comes from the Spanish word “temprano” which means early. This is because it tends to ripen earlier than other varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Garnacha. Depending on where it’s grown, it can also be called “tinto fino”, “tinta del país” or “cencibel”.
What would be a great food pairing you would recommend that would pair well with Tempranillo?
A great Iberian charcuterie and cheese board: Jamón serrano, cecina, chorizo, salchichón and lomo and a nice sheep milk cheese assortment. All with some great bread with olive oil and tomato (pan con tomate). It’s easy, simple but absolutely delicious!
How are you growing/harvesting Tempranillo at your winery?
We believe in sustainability, which is crucial. Minimizing the use of any treatments is of great importance for the environment, as we should all take into account this is a marathon and not a sprint, so taking care of what’s around us and the quality of what we are growing is a must.
How does Tempranillo thrive in an old world vs. new world climate?
I think it depends more on how it’s treated: yields, pruning, etc. Climates can be somehow similar if you look to have a successful tempranillo vineyard. However, soils, vineyard and winery philosophy are what’s going to make it more different. I have tasted different tempranillos from Spain and California and “old world” tempranillos tend to be more complex as they tend to have more spices and licorice notes.
What advice do you have for those who aspire to work in the industry?
Don’t lose the passion and love for such a beautiful project and be patient, everything that’s worth it, takes time.
Are you at liberty to share any future plans for Bodega Sarmentero?
So far, we are just focusing on keep making a great wine and maintaining our philosophy. We also want to keep promoting our BnB “Hotel Rural La Tejera” (https://www.latejerahotelrural.com/) and offer people a great experience in understanding our region and culture!