Ones to watch – La Compañía de Vinos Entre Dos Aguas
Once in a while you get the chance to meet someone doing something really special, but often you don’t realise how special until much later. That’s what happened to us when we met the Compañía de Vinos Entre Dos Aguas in September.
Do you fancy going to La Blanquita on Saturday?
asked our friend Esperanza.
There’s a bunch of guys with an artisan wine project, who need some help. They’re making an arroz for afterwards, we just need to bring some cold beer.
We’d been to the La Blanquita vineyard a couple of times already the previous week. It was beginning to feel like all roads led there. But the chance to meet some up and coming winemakers and drink some beer in the sun sounded like too good an opportunity to miss.
The Compañía de Vinos Entre Dos Aguas is the brainchild of Miguel Flores and Francisco Coro, both born and bred in the sherry triangle and friends since nursery school. Both are passionate about wine and want to work in the industry, but opportunities are so limited they decided to make their own. Both are engineers: Miguel is an agricultural engineer as well as having a Masters in oenology, whilst Francisco works as an aeronautical engineer. Miguel has sherry heritage in his family; his uncle is Antonio Flores of Gonzalez Byass. Their philosophy is simple: the search for the presence of terroir, making wines using traditional methods that express the personalities of the different pagos (vineyard zones).
The day we first met them, Miguel was sitting on the winery floor, up to his armpits in grapes, pressing them by hand. Francisco was coordinating a team of their friends to press more grapes by foot. Together they poured the juice into barrels ready for fermentation, before it was all hands on deck to clean up. Artisan methods at their most messy and traditional.
Los Cuatros Pagos
The project they were working on at La Blanquita was one of three they have underway at the moment: Los Cuatro Pagos. They have selected Palomino Fino grapes from the four classic pagos of the sherry triangle: Macharnudo (Jerez), Balbaina (El Puerto de Santa Maria), Miraflores (Sanlucar) and Añina (sitting between the three towns), and are making unfortified wines from each pago. The goal is to show the characteristics of the pagos and the importance of terroir: four wines made with the same grapes, grown in the same soil, matured in the same location for maturation, and yet with distinctive aromas and flavours from the places they were grown. A similar idea to Ramiro Ibañez Pitijopos project, and will hopefully provide more evidence that terroir really does matter in the sherry triangle. The wines are 12-13% ABV and should be ready within less than a year. In the meantime, their Balbaina mosto from the project came third in artisan class of the Consejo Regulador’s mosto competition. I reckon that bodes well for the finished wine.
A team effort
We know how hard it is to dedicate yourself completely to the world of wine. Taking the first steps is practically impossible if your family doesn’t own a winery or have never worked in the industry. Our idea is that collaborating on projects with us can be a springboard to work with other wineries or get into the labour market.
Two of the guys helping out at La Blanquita are also collaborating on other projects with the Compañía. Jose Ignacio Soto and Jose Andres Lucena are both chemical engineers with Masters in oenology, and are both collaborating on their two other projects. Jose Ignacio is also collaborating on Los Cuatros Pagos.
Aminea – Sparkling Gewürztraminer
At the start of January, the Compañía announced the imminent release of Aminea, a sparkling Gewürztraminer produced using the methode champenoise. It comes in at 10.5% ABV and is a limited release of 100 bottles. After all, it’s all about quality, not quantity.
Late harvest red
The final project they’ve been working on is a red made with ultra-late harvested Tempranillo grapes. The grapes weren’t harvested until 21 October, so that’s going to be a pretty intense wine when it’s ready. It’s going to be 15% ABV, and Francisco tells me it’s coming along beautifully.
Keep your eye on these two
Miguel and Francisco are two young men with a lifelong passion for wine, inquisitive minds, and a willingness to roll their sleeves up and get things done. They live in a place where the labour market is tough and getting work in their chosen field is even tougher. So they’re making their own opportunities and breaking new ground as they go. And what I think I love most about this project is that they’re not just making opportunities for themselves, but giving others a leg up at the same time. We’ll be hearing a lot more about these guys in future, of that I’m sure. If you spot a bottle of one of their wines when you visit Jerez, snap it up – you just know it’s gonna be good.
Huge thanks to Francisco and Miguel for letting us hang out with them and their friends on one of their busiest days of the year, for providing these great photos and answering all my (occasionally daft) questions over WhatsApp and email in the last few months.
They’re always looking for collaborators on new projects, and are interested in finding distributors. If you want to contact them , they can be reached at: