Certainly, it has taken me many hours to sit down and express in words the way we live, the way we understand life, and how we try to live it in order to achieve the maximum aspiration for us, which is really just to be happy.
For us, wine is our way of life. We have internalized it and it is part of us now. So it seems quite logical to translate how our general understanding of life into words that concern our passion for wine. It was in this way after one of those long talks the three of us, that hit upon the concept of Ethical Wine.
Because there are many things that seem so obvious yet do not tend to be practiced on a daily basis … Like for example the concept of honesty.
We firmly believe in (which is why we also practice it) a FAIR and WORTHY price to the farmer for each kilo of grapes, because the vine field is our one indispensable base, and the farmer’s work is essential if any of us is to enjoy even a single glass of wine on any given day, alone or with good company. And, why do I write these words using uppercase? Because obviously every grape does have the same value, and because according to its characteristics, whether a given grape is destined for the final product or for another use, we point to the concepts of “fair” and “worthy” because the farmer has the right to earn a living from his work without waiting for the shift allowances.
At Bodegas Gratias what we do is to promote the recovery of this valuable heritage that we have, in the form of the Bobal grape, old vineyards of low yield that are undervalued because they have passed their peak productivity are no longer as profitable if the grapes are taken them to high-volume cooperatives. Consequently, our neighboring farmer is determined to start to planting young vines in the best case, and at worst he may abandon his grape crop altogether. So we also ally ourselves with this young farmer, who wants to change things, who returns to his home village to reclaim the vineyard his parents are no longer able to work, and who has the image in his head of seeing how with his hands and the efforts of his work may again put in motion his ancestral vineyards. We advise this farmer, and we commit to buy his grapes when they are grown, to our specifications in the parts of his vineyard we select.
In our own vineyards we practice the techniques we have learned working for other wineries in Alicante, Valencia, Montsant, Albacete, Chile, Argentina and New Zealand, applying our knowledge with the ultimate goal of achieving that ideal Bobal cluster that achieves excellence by leaving the vineyard alone with itself, so it can feel alive and simply be. Our “majuelo” is our own small testing ground in which we remove or apply new organic products, or make different pruning tests, … in short, a small paradise where we verify how incredibly difficult it is to manage this grape variety.
Moving from the field to the winery, where we seek consistency with all the work and care we have already invested in the vineyard throughout the year. In this way what we do is to try to obtain the maximum potential of the grape bunches, supplying the lack of means with our technical know-how.
Our goal: to obtain a wine that can be enjoyed in its fullness, without “cosmetics”, without “prostituting” it for not being worthy of being single varietal.
Finally, we complete our concept of Ethical Wine in the marketing effort, minimizing intermediaries, selling our wine at prices that are affordable to every pocketbook. Thus we want to further socialize the consumption of high-quality wine, because our limited production should not make our wine prices prohibitive for ordinary people.
Someone told us that we are crazy, but the fact is there’s nothing that warms our hearts more than to see people enjoy our wines. Well that, and try through contributing our own grain of sand to leave a better world behind us for our children.
… gratias maximas to everyone who has helped make these ethical wines possible …