Menade Organic Verdejo Rueda
The decision to convert to organic farming at Menade was made with the understanding that it resulted in better wines by reducing yields. With greater competition for resources (primarily water and nitrogen) the vines responded by setting smaller clusters with smaller berries – high in natural anti-oxidants and native yeasts. The quality of the fruit at Menade has allowed Richard to dispense with SO2 during fermentation allowing the indigenous yeasts to do their thing with the wine being protected from oxidation by a layer of natural and recycled CO2.
Menade farms 160 hectares of vines in Rueda located mainly in the northern part of the DO near the Duero river. Of this, 120 are planted with Verdejo including an ancient, ungrafted, 30 hectare parcel of bush vines. The soils are sandy clay, with a high chalk content, and topped with gravel. Their newer plantations of Verdejo are between 20–30 years old and were selected for their clonal diversity and ability to adapt to organic farming.