Le vignoble bio - Bodegas Williams & Humbert
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BODEGAS
WILLIAMS & HUMBERT

BODEGAS
WILLIAMS & HUMBERT

THE ORGANIC VINEYARD

Williams & Humbert cultivates its own organic vineyard, a total of 50 hectares: 33 hectares in Pago de Carrascal and 17 hectares in Pago de Balbaína, with the varieties Palomino, Pedro Ximénez and Moscatel.

THE CHALLENGE OF ORGANIC VITICULTURE

Williams & Humbert began in 2015 to work with organic grapes from the Pagos of Burujena and Maritata.

The result was the launch, in 2018, of the first organic Fino from the Marco de Jerez, the Fine 2015. And the launch in 2022 of the first organic Oloroso of Region: the Oloroso 2015.

These organic sherries are the result of a careful process that, from the harvesting of the grapes to the wine press where they are processed, the alcohol for fortifying and the place where the wine ages, meets all the requirements of organic certification.

Today, Williams & Humbert cultivates its own organic vineyard, a total of 50 hectares: 33 hectares in the Pago de Carrascal and 17 hectares in the Pago de Balbaína, with the varieties Palomino, Pedro Ximénez and Muscatel.

In this way, Williams & Humbert is taking up the challenge of organic viticulture with the aim of producing certified organic wines from the Jerez Region.

This viticulture is carried out under techniques regulated by the ecological standards, with special practices such as appropriate pruning and improving soil fertility with treatments that respect and even improve the development of auxiliary fauna.

PIONEERS IN THE ORGANIC CULTIVATION OF THE PEDRO XIMÉNEZ VARIETY

In 2017 Williams decided to go for the growing Pedro Ximénez, which is deficient in the Region.

Subsequently, the wineries have gone a step further by introducing the organic cultivation of Pedro Ximénez in their vineyards, to the point where they now have 23 hectares: 13 hectares in Pago de Balbaína and 10 hectares in Pago de Carrascal.

For the implementation of this crop, Williams & Humbert has been part of the INVITEC PX Task Force whose objective has been the organic cultivation of the Pedro Ximénez variety for the production of new organic sweet wines.

The implementation of this project involved the study of the cultivation of the variety Organic Pedro Ximénez compared to conventional cultivation. For this purpose, two plots located in the Williams & Humbert vineyards have been used. Our winery is the unique to the Region which has this variety grown both organically and conventionally in the same vineyard, which has made it possible to establish and carry out research trials.

It is important to point out that these two plots, 3 hectares certified organic and 2 hectares certified conventional, present the same agro-climatic conditions, in order for the results of the study to have been representative.

SWEET AND ORGANIC WINES

In each of these plots, monitoring has been carried out of physiological, agronomic and oenological parameters in order to establish the viability and profitability of organic versus conventional cultivation in the Sherry region.

In addition, the grapes harvested in the 2022 and 2023 harvests were sun-dried in the field and transferred to the Institute for Viticulture and Agri-food Research (IVAGRO) at the University of Cadiz where different sweet wines were made.

Researchers from the Research in Food Engineering and Technology (AGR-203) from the UCA have carried out different tests in the field (physiological, agronomic and sunlight studies) and in the winery (oenological characterisation and winemaking), to evaluate the response to organic cultivation of the Pedro Ximénez variety and its oenological potential to produce new types of sweet wines in the Marco de Jerez region.

For the development of this initiative, the UCA, in its IVAGRO Research Institute, has a pilot plant equipped for grape processing and the development of micro vinifications, scientific laboratories with high-tech equipment that allow the complete characterisation of musts and wines, and an approved tasting room for the sensory analysis of the wines produced.

Another result is the feasibility of organic grape sunflower oiling. It has been shown that, during the period of exposure of the cut bunches to the sun, the integrity and health of the grapes are maintained..

This makes it possible to produce quality organic sweet wines. Lower alcohol wines, with a natural balance between acidity and residual sugars, without having to resort to traditional fortification practices.

In this R&D&I project have taken part, together with Williams & Humbert, in the Consejo Regulador de la DO Jerez, the Diputación de Cádiz, Ecovalia and the University of Cádiz and has been financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), the Regional Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Water and Sustainable Development of the Regional Government of Andalusia and Integrated Territorial Investment in the Province of Cadiz.

The project, which lasted for two years, from May 2022 to May 2024, has made it possible to continue diversifying and improving the area's resources, offering new business opportunities for professionals and responding to market trends.

This initiative could also help to promote the cultivation of Pedro Ximénez, helping to increase the insufficient surface area currently devoted to this variety in the Jerez Region.

This project has contributed to a more environmentally friendly wine industry and diversified production with new oenological products.

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BODEGAS
WILLIAMS & HUMBERT

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