In 2000 the Castano family acquired and re-organized old vineyards located at the foot of the Sierra Salinas Mountains, between the provinces of Murcia and Alicante, and built the Bodegas Sierra Salinas. The vineyards are situated at diverse altitudes with a range of soil types and arid micro-climates characterized by cold winters and warm summers.
Five different grape varieties are grown on the property including: non-irrigated Monastrell bush vines (50% of the total density of the plantation) and irrigated Cabernet Sauvignon, Garnacha Tintorera and Petit Verdot.
Learn More About Other Red Blends
Red wines are certainly not limited to Cabernet and Pinot Noir - or even Nebbiolo and Grenache. There are a multitude of grape varieties throughout the world, however, in a Darwinian sense, survival of the fittest only brings us wines made from grapes that can adapt to changing climates and winemaking techniques.
Notable Facts Our "other red wines" primarily consists of a multitude of different blends, such as Argentina blends - Malbec-based blends, often with Bonarda, Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah Australian blends - Usually Shiraz-Cabernet Sauvignon blends Tuscan blends - Super Tuscans are often blends of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah or others. Excellent and interesting blends in this category, however, come from just about everywhere, including Portugal, South Africa and Greece.
Some of the red single varietals you'll find in our other red wine category include: Carignan, a Spanish grape found in Spain (under the name Cariñena) and in many of the blends in the Rhone and Languedoc-Rousillon
Aglianico, a varietal from Southern Italy that makes some big and bold reds.
Montelpulciano d'Abruzzo, which is the grape Montelpulciano, from Abruzzo. A very easy-drinking wine from Central Italy.
Learn More About Rioja, Spain
This highly regarded area of Spain makes some of the best Tempranillo-based wines in the world. Once the only DOCa (recently joined by Priorat in 2001), Rioja is divided into 3 sub-regions: Rioja Baja, Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa. There are 4 red varieties and 3 white varieties allowed in the Rioja DOC. Tempranillo definitely takes center stage, followed by Garnacha (Grenache)), which is sometimes added for body, then Graciano and Mazuelo (Carignan). The region also makes roses. For whites, the main grape is Viura (or Macebo), producing fresh, early-drinking wines. Malvasia, the grape that was once the most planted white, is found less often.
The Rioja wine trade is somewhat confusing. Grapes are typically brought to a merchant's bodega from one of the 20,000+ growers in the region, or via a cooperative. The wine is then bottled and labelled by that bodega. Rioja's Consejo Regulador keeps track of all vineyards and bodegas to make sure they are following the DOCa regulations. Put in place to ensure quality, the system also controls prices.
As with the rest of Spain, the wine label may state Crianza, Reserva or Gran Reserva, depending on barrel & bottle maturation. Crianzas are usually found within two years of the vintage and offer fresh, ripe wines. Reserva and Gran Reserva will be found a few years after the vintage, as the bodega will be aging the wines in barrel and bottle before release. Both typically show more secondary characteristics of spice and oak ageing.