Friday, 4 December 2015

Grupo Mostolé – Organic Producers

Founded by José (Pepe) Cabral, this is a group of seven growers formed in 2013 with a total between them of 20 hectares of organic grapes, mostly Palomino, between Trebujena and Jerez. These grapes are allowed for DO Jerez being grown within the official production zone and indeed used to be sold to bodegas, but they are now used to make upmarket young table wines or “mostos” – which the group would like to see as a DO unaged Sherry.  

The Andalucian Organic Certification Seal
Pepe was inspired by the idea of Beaujolais Nouveau, red wine released young and fresh amid lots of media attention. It saves the producers money as the wine is sold as soon as it is ready, avoiding the expenses of ageing. Now these mostos are growing in popularity; most bars offer one, often with a typical stew such as “ajo caliente” (tomato, garlic, bread, oil) and there are even tasting routes and competitions. The mostos are the earliest wines to be released in Europe. The name Mostolé derives from “mosto” (newly fermented wine) and “olé” (hooray!) and expresses their enthusiasm for it.

Most of the Mostolé crop was bought by the cooperative AECOVI Jerez to make the first ever organic Sherry but unfortunately AECOVI went bust in early 2015 and the Sherry dream was never realised. The coop did however produce a couple of vintages of the group’s table wines bottled en rama: Riachero from Palomino grapes grown by José Fernández Aguilar, and Entusiástico made by Pepe Cabral since 2009, a Palomino which includes about 10% percent of the once widely planted Mantua Castellano grape. Grapes from his vineyard were made into the first organic Manzanilla – Manzanilla Entusiástica – by Delgado Zuleta and launched in 2015.

L-R: Salvador Real, Jorge Pascual and Pepe Cabral launching the Manzanilla (foto:cosasdecome)

Pepe is keen to recuperate old grape varieties which, despite their quality are not now permitted, varieties like Mantua Castellano and the Alarije Dorada, which he would field graft. He says that there were no fewer than 52 varieties growing in the Trebujena area in the XVIII century. His plan is to encourage lots of growers to follow his example and recover the diversity of grapes in the area, make their own quality, ideally organic, wine with its own character and create a revolution with wine made with respect for the vineyard, and with all this achieved, they might make some money.

The group has its own awards ceremony in which a “chambra de crudillo” (a hardwearing jacket typically worn by wine growers in the XVIII century) is awarded to the “enthusiast of the year”. For the time being these wines can only be consumed locally due to their limited production, but they merit a visit in themselves. Too many visitors to the area confine themselves to the big bodegas in Jerez and miss out on all the interesting things happening elsewhere in the area. Get yourself here in November and enjoy a whole new experience!

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