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Bodegas Olvena debuts at Wines of Spain

Published:  18 January, 2007

Somontano-based winery, Bodegas Olvena, represented by Stratford's Wine Agencies in the UK, will be exhibiting for the first time at this year's Wines of Spain Trade Fair (stand 49) on Thursday 6 March at Old Billingsgate, London.

David Robinson, export manager, will be attending the tasting and will be on hand to talk about Bodegas Olvena and developments in the Somontano region.

Bodegas Olvena is Stratford's first venture into Spain. In line with his view that "new world" is a question of attitude and not geography, managing director, Paul Stratford firmly believes in working with producers with a new world philosophy and Olvena certainly fits the bill. "Bodegas Olvena ticks all the right boxes for us", says Paul Stratford. "It's a family-owned, young, innovative, company with an exciting range of approachable, fruit-driven wines which are very new world' in style".

The Olvena range is targeted at the independent and on-trade and retails between 5.99 and 17.99. The following wines will be on show at the tasting:

O' Chardonnay 2007

Merlot Rosado 2007

Coupage 2004 (Tempranillo/Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot)

Crianza Cabernet Sauvignon 2004

Cuatro' 2005 (Tempranillo/Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Syrah)

Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2006

Gewrztraminer 2007

Hache' 2006 (Garnacha/Syrah)

The winery won the Trophy for Best Design at the New Wave Spanish Wines Competition last year with Olvena Cuatro. The packaging, which is modern and striking, was designed by artist, Isidro Ferrer and the judges praised its "amazing, stand-out quality" (Lynne Whitaker, Winebrand). Neil Tulley, Amphora, commented, "It caught my eye as soon as I walked into the room. It breaks all the rules - it's got no baggage".

Olvena Cuatro, a blend of Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah was also selected for the top 109 list - the only wine to be chosen from the Somontano region.

Michel Rolland on board

In October 2007, Bodegas Olvena signed an agreement with renowned winemaker and international consultant, Michel Rolland, a self-confessed fan of Spain who already has a joint venture with the Lurton brothers in the Toro region. The great potential of Bodegas Olvena, together with the exceptional factors found in the region of Somontano, have been instrumental in Rolland's decision to get actively involved as a consultant to the winery.

Roberto Pan, owner of Bodegas Olvena, commented, "The collaboration between Michel Rolland and Bodegas Olvena is another example of the dedication and commitment of Bodegas Olvena to continuous improvement. Our target is to build a strong international presence for Olvena and Michel Rolland's contribution is vital, due to his extensive experience and knowledge of international markets. We don't want our wines to lose their Somontano identity, but we do want to take advantage of Michel Rolland's valuable experience in order to maximise the potential of the vineyards."


Based in the up-and-coming Aragonese region of Somontano, Bodegas Olvena is a family-owned, modern, innovative winery, near Barbastro, producing an exciting range of new wave wines. The Olvena vineyards boast the lowest yields per hectare in the DO region of Somontano (at 4,500 kgs per hectare, just half the permitted yield), which ensures the best quality possible for the relatively young vines. There is plenty of potential for growth and an increase in production and the winery exports to other markets around the world.

A passion for Tempranillo

The winemaker, Jos Luis Ruiz, who came on board in August 2005, has had a huge impact on the wines, which were previously very traditional in style. He has a passion for the Tempranillo grape and believes that although Somontano is best known for Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, it is possible to produce top class Tempranillo-based wines in the region (his Cuatro and Coupage wines speak for themselves). His past experience in the Rioja region obviously helped and he has succeeded in producing an exciting, broad range of modern wines.

In 1999, the Abbad family, with its long agricultural history in Somontano, planted vines on their best fincas and bought other select parcels of land suited to viticulture, based around the small town of Olvena (whence the name). They now own 240 hectares of their own vineyards and do not buy in grapes as it is their philosophy to control the whole process, from the vine to the winery. The cooling effect of the Pyrenees has a vital influence on the elegant style of the wines. Soils tend to be chalk sandstone and clay with alluvial material near the rivers. Almost all the soils are rich in calcium carbonate, making them ideal for vine growing. Bodegas Olvena's first vintage was in 2002 and the striking new winery, with modern winemaking facilities and a potential capacity for 2 million bottles and a visitor centre opened in 2005.

Source: Stratford's Wine Agencies