The Lagar de Cervera winery, belonging to Grupo La Rioja Alta, S.A., has expanded its 74-hectare vineyard estate (the largest of the DO Rías Baixas) with another 24 new hectares. The new vineyard is called Finca Silvosa. It is planted with 13 ha of Albariño grapes to be used in the Lagar de Cervera single varietal and in its Rosal Pazo de Seoane.
The intense work to create this great estate began fifteen years ago. Since then, the Galician house directed by Ángel Suárez has been acquiring small parcels of land, locally known as matos, and gradually grouping them. “It has been an intensive task with all sorts of legal challenges,” explains Suarez. “We have had to bring together a total of about 800 matos to put together Finca Silvosa, some of them barely 50 square metres in size or belonging to several individuals.”
In addition, before starting to prepare the land to plant the vineyards, the winery had to complete a meticulous archaeological survey, as there are existing and documented indications of Roman efforts to mine for gold in the area. The work has confirmed that the Romans did in fact extract gold here and two pits with ceramic and stone fragments from the Neolithic period (around 4000 BCE) were also found. There was also “an unexpected surprise,” according to Roberto Frías, Agricultural Director, Grupo La Rioja Alta, S.A., “when one of the surveys brought up the remains of what was likely to be a medieval vineyard.” “It is clear,” says Frías, “that someone before us already identified the suitability of this place for growing grapes.” The entire site has obviously “been protected and unaltered” and it will soon be prepared for visitors to be able to enjoy this new vineyard.
The new thirteen hectares in production have a higher plantation density than normal for the Rías Baixas DO. This is to “opt for higher quality, reducing production per plant unit.” The vines are trained using “a complex espalier system to allow for a large canopy area to be exposed to the sun in order to ensure perfect ripening. The planting system also allows for optimized environmentally-friendly treatments and healthier grapes.
The sustainable commitment of Lagar de Cervera will also be reinforced in Finca Silvosa thanks to a modern fertigation installation that “allows us to provide water and nutrients in a localized, dedicated manner, preventing any risk of soil or water contamination,” explains Ángel Suárez. A deep topographical study of the area has also allowed the winery to “create pathways for rainwater evacuation in strategic places and we have sown oats throughout the estate in order to reduce soil loss from erosion as much as possible.”
Lagar de Cervera’s environmental awareness has led it to become the first Galician company in installing a system for degrading phytosanitary effluents. The winery employs a Bayer Phytobac® system to process the washing effluent from equipment and machinery used in the vineyard to protect the surroundings.