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Carmen and María José Basconcillos, two women leaders of sustainable viticulture in the 21st century.

Today, Carmen and Maria José Basconcillos run a winery that has marked the wine sector in recent years. Both women have made Dominio Basconcillos a 21st century pioneer winery in organic farming, technology and location, with exceptional conditions in a unique and internationally recognized location.

The effort, perseverance and family character of this business, together with the love for nature that their father transmitted from the beginning, have made this wine a reference in the sector. In addition to all this, its extensive industrial, technological and innovation knowledge transferred to the wineries positions it at the forefront of the latest trends and in continuous progress and evolution.

Why have you achieved a unique wine in the market?

“We will always remain faithful to our controlled and limited production” – Carmen Basconcillos, owner of Dominio Basconcillos winery..

Vineyard at altitude

One of the differentiating values of Dominio Basconcillos is precisely its location. When this project began around 2,000 years ago, and led by its founder, his father José María Basconcillos, cultivating vines at an altitude of 1,000 m was considered risky and unexplored. However, in the current context of climate change, high altitude wines are on the rise.

The the height of the vineyard with a southern exposure, the orography of the terrain with a diversity of soils(clay-limestone, gravel and sand), temperature differences between day and night, ventilation and air purity and very low yields (less than 4000 kg/ha) make the conditions of this winery in the area known as Paraje del Alto del Cura, a place where already in the Middle Ages the Benedictine monks brought the cultivation of life around their monastery, are not found anywhere else.

“Wineries from Peñafiel come here because they need the freshness that the altitude brings,” says Carmen Basconcillos.

Although these are not easy vineyards to harvest, the results are excellent, a challenge for which Carmen and María José fight every day.

Sustainability

Sustainability, one of the tasks pending in recent times, has been one of the guiding threads of this project since its inception and what drove José María Basconcillos to enter the world of winemaking and to be, today, a pioneering winery in organic viticulture. An aspect for which Carmen and María José are in a continuous process of learning and advancement.

Both are clear that “only by respecting the natural cycles can we get the best out of it”. This is how, after two decades working the vineyard in a natural way, the estate has become an authentic refuge of biodiversity.

“We create functional landscape units. We plant flowers that act as sources of pollen and nectar for the different insects, and these perform pollination and natural biological control tasks” – Carmen and María José Basconcillos.

Their commitment is such that since 2004 they have held the organic wine certificate. Respect for biodiversity and the environment is present in every step of the production process. In addition, all maintenance and weeding work is carried out minimizing any chemical synthesis products and herbicides.

The typology of its cellar is inspired by the well-known French Châteauxes,The vineyard and winery make up the property (the estate), so that every detail is studied to ensure that the work of caring for the land, harvesting and processing are consistent and respectful with the land, with the fruit and with the philosophy of Dominio Basconcillos.

3. Innovation

Although at first glance it may seem like a small family business that began in the late 1990s, innovation has always gone hand in hand with this winery with the aim of achieving the best quality based on taking advantage of the benefits of technology brought to the field and winemaking processes.

Devices with artificial intelligence, measurement sensors, Big Data applied to viticulture, satellite images, vineyard waste management for the benefit and enrichment of the soil, or CO2 fixation, are some of the advances that have been included in recent years, and that continue to be worked on every day with a view to even more ambitious projects. This philosophy, which is moving towards the agriculture of the future, joins a new R&D challenge with the premise of being the best in its sector and achieving excellence in each bottle.

Although at first glance it may seem like a small family business that began in the late 1990s, innovation has always gone hand in hand with this winery with the aim of achieving the best quality based on taking advantage of the benefits of technology brought to the field and winemaking processes.

Devices with artificial intelligence, measurement sensors, Big Data applied to viticulture, satellite images, vineyard waste management for the benefit and enrichment of the soil, or CO2 fixation, are some of the advances that have been included in recent years, and that continue to be worked on every day with a view to even more ambitious projects. This philosophy, which is moving towards the agriculture of the future, joins a new R&D challenge with the premise of being the best in its sector and achieving excellence in each bottle.

In collaboration with the universities of Burgos and Salamanca, the winery has developed R&D projects for soil improvement. “We use several combined techniques: on the one hand, there is Biochar, a charcoal that remains intact for a long period of time and serves to create structures in which microorganisms are housed.In these structures, there is a high retention of moisture, so our soil improves its longevity. In addition, the vineyard becomes a carbon sink. In this way, we practice regenerative agriculture and return carbon to the atmosphere. Our vineyard is treated like a tropical forest”, explain Carmen and María José.

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