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A Place Where Passion Persists | Tierra Calma, San Martín de Valediglésias & Rafael Aguillar

Updated: 2 days ago

Nestled on the route between Northern and Southern Spain, below the high granite peaks of the Sierra de Gredos mountains, lays a landscape riddled with history and beauty unbeknown to most.

Standing amid the expanse of sunburnt hills where ancient olive trees and vineyards grow in abundance, one cannot help but marvel at life for a moment being picturesque as Goya’s painting.

La Vendimia a romanticized version of an 18th century grape harvest in no way portrays the historical winemakers that tilled the soil of San Martín de Valdeiglesias. To do this our imaginations must go back to 1177 AD, when devout Cistercian Monks, whose origins come from Burgundy France, set forth on a passionate plight to tend and transform the land.

Regardless of the century, the art of making wine in this region requires persistent passion, which is exactly what we find flourishing at the vineyards of Tierra Calma, where winemaker Helena and husband Rafael Aguillar practice the art of making wine.

As winemaker Helena has been experimenting with the alteration of vine-cutting, opting to leave more leaves on the vines in order to shield and protect the grapes from the increased temperatures brought on by climate change.

Sharing stories about the terroir Rafael noted, “It is important to consider three different dimensions: soil, climate and vines.” Part of why the grapes of Tierra Calma are organically grown in loose and permeable granitic soil, the drainage supporting the vines to dig deep, giving them the ability to endure hot and cold temperatures and ultimately grow concentrated fruits.

These techniques and methodologies expressions of these winemakers' devotion to creating wondrous wines.

CYSTER is a four-star favorite and named in honor of the Cistern monks who shared their knowledge with the region.

Made exclusively from hand-picked rich red Garnacha grapes which resemble Pinot Noir, and or, Gamay, this Spanish varietal gives a taste of Burgundy.

With CYSTER one is easily lured in through the elegant floral bouquet, but it is through tasting that one becomes enamored: The notes beautifully balanced between the smooth mineral acidity of cherry and strawberry, with a nice touch of dry tannic oak at the finish.

In savoring this wine the mind naturally begins to pair it with personal favorites such as grilled lamb, roasted carrots and caramelized balsamic onions…grilled pork with baked apples and fennel…regardless of your preferred dish, desire for something chocolate will most likely call your name, followed by whispers from CYSTER murmuring, “Drink me…”

As the vines of Tierra Calma vineyards are grown in soil where centuries of bold believers turned visions into reality, this is truly a wine to sip and savor Spain.

Fascinating Fun Facts |

Merely an hour’s drive from Madrid, the vineyards of Tierra Calma exist near a renowned historic site known as Bulls of Guisando, where large animal stone structures have stood since 2nd Century BC. Reportedly carved by a tribe called the Vettones, who not only fought against Carthaginian Hannibal, but too aided the Roman Emperor Claudius with his invasion of Britain in 43-60 AD. Talk about stories seeping through the stones…

Adding to this impressive landmark is the fact that in 1468, on the hill of Guidando, Isabelle of Castile, who was not yet the queen we know her to have become, signed a treaty granting her the rights of succession for the lands of Castile.

In this regard, this region has always been a place for bold believers to turn visions into reality.

All photos provided by Tierra Calma and free online sources

Interview and writing by Antonio Moreira

Edited by Seanna Marie


Tierra Calma "Cyster", Garnacha |2018

Wild, red fruited aromas of raspberry, strawberry and cherry mingle with the subtle sweet, toasted elements from its short time in barrel. The palate is impressively balanced; fruit, tannin, alcohol and acid are noticeably harmonious and supportive. This wine is youthful and thoroughly drinkable.

The high intensity flavors of Grenache match well with roasted meats, roasted vegetables and foods spiced with Asian 5-spice and cumin.

Grape Varieties: 100% Garnacha

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