Araex to go 100% organic for its growers in SpainBy Patrick Schmitt
Leading group of Spanish wine growers, Araex is to go 100% organic across its 3,800 hectares of vineyards by 2025, the drinks business can exclusively reveal.
In a move that reflects the increasing demand for organic produce, and a growing realisation that conventional farming practices can degrade soils and poison water courses, one of Spain’s most prominent wine producers has announced its commitment to be entirely organic within the next four years.
With certification for organic viticulture taking three years, the group is embarking on this project now for any of its vineyards that are not already equipped with the certification – Araex already has a number of sites that carry the certification, and produces an organic wine from La Mancha under the group’s Rolland & Galarreta brand.
Speaking to db on Friday about the decision, Javier R de Galarreta, who is the founder and CEO of ARAEX Grands Spanish Fine Wines, said that being 100% organic would soon be another aspect to the offer that came with a wine grower being part of the ARAEX group, commenting that it was vital that the organisation’s producers provide an assurance of quality as well as strong environmental credentials.
“We will ensure that in the coming future we are a guarantor of sustainably produced and high quality wines from multiple regions [in Spain],” he told db.
“This includes increasing biodiversity in our vineyards and supporting local communities, and Araex, as a brand of guarantee, is pushing to have all the production at our wineries certified organic,” he added.
Continuing, he said that while some of the group’s growers are “already organic, at the latest, we want to be 100% organic by 2025; it’s a must if we want the Araex brand to be a brand of guarantee.”
Furthermore, he stressed that all agricultural practices among Araex wineries are “sustainable” – we do not use any chemical treatments on our vineyards, anything we use is ‘natural’.”
As for why he has opted to go the certified organic route for every one of the 13 wineries in the group, rather than just offering a guarantee of sustainable wine production, he said that gaining organic certification was the best way, because it required the stamp of an official, independent institution, which meant it was “objective”.
He also said that he believes that organic certification for wine will “be a must in the future”.
Araex is the umbrella name for a group of independent Spanish wineries, each of whom are stakeholders in the business, and these include some of the country’s top producers, taking in 11 different PDOs.
Araex was founded in 1993 in Rioja Alavesa and the wineries are listed below:
- Rioja Alavesa: Bodegas Luis Cañas, Bodegas Amaren, Bodegas Lar de Paula, Bodegas y Viñedos Labastida, Bodegas Baigorri and Altos de Rioja Viticultores y Bodegueros.
- Rias Baixas: Camino del Peregrino
- Ribera del Duero: Dominio de Cair
- Navarra: Pago de Cirsus
- Rueda: Val de Vid
- Toro: Sobreño
- Mancha: Muñoz
- Bizkaiko Txakolina: Gorkaizagirre
- Brands: Rolland Galarreta, Villa Conchi (Cava), and Gran Sello