I love the wines of Envinate and their parcels on Tenerife give a real insight into volcanic wine making. These are wines with a real sense of place and they are simply marvellous. They do have a wild side and won't be for everyone but in my opinion they can do nothing wrong. The fruit for the Benje wines comes from vineyards in Santiago del Teide, high on the northwestern volcanic slopes of Tenerife. Altitude is around 1,000 metres. Viticulture is organic. The soil is worked by hand without using any kind of chemicals. The vines are free-standing, completely untrained and harvesting is done by hand. Each parcel is vinified separately, in a mix of concrete tanks and open tubs. 75% of the fruit is pressed directly off the skins, the other 25% undergoes skin contact for between 14-40 days. The wine is aged for 8 months in 60% concrete and 40% old French barriques, on the fine lees. No battonage or sulphur is used.
Notes on the producer
Envínate (aka wine-yourself) is the brainchild of Laura Ramos, Jose Martínez, Roberto Santana and Alfonso Torrente, four friends who met while studying oenology at the University of Miguel Hernández in Alicante. They focus on exploring the ancient, Atlantic-influenced terruños of Ribeira Sacra, The Canary Islands and Almansa. Their philosophy is simple: let each parcel fully express itself through traditional farming and wine-making methods. Right now there are four different projects under the Envínate umbrella: Lousas overseen by Alfonso Torrente in Ribeira Sacra, Táganan and Benje by Roberto Santana in Tenerife, and Albahra in Almansa by Laura Ramos and José Martínez. These are some very unique and special wines, and some are only made in tiny quantities, so grab them while you can!