Spielberg and Cooperativa Albarizas, the wine of Trebujena

Updated: 03.10.2021 11:48 h.

A ship advances towards Hispalis. It can be seen between marshes by that Andalusian entrance that exerted since centuries of umbilical cord (Atlantic) between Spain and the world. Quiet, the Guadalquivir, is a commercial and cultural gateway of superlative size.

Sitting at the bar The priest from the Plaza de Don Antonio Cañadas de Trebujena, with Pepe Cabral and unforgettable rack of lamb, everything takes on an intoxicating tone. Time seems suspended between the mists that cover the river and Trebujena offers itself like a white castle on top of a hill, huddled and safe before those infinite horizons drawn by deltaic meanders.

Sanluqueños claim their position at the mouth of the river. Trebujena, in the rear, in that immediate inland country, rest calmly among primitive apricots.

Trebujenera vineyards are the protagonists and beloved and landscaped.

Wineries of the Cooperativa Vitivinícola Albarizas de Trebujena / WINES OF ALBARIZAS

Wineries of the Cooperativa Vitivinícola Albarizas de Trebujena / WINES OF ALBARIZAS

Jerez as a framework, physical and conceptual, is a historical brand tied to its system of soleras and criaderas; and it’s difficult establish conversations about vineyard, because time and loquacity are concerned with the nuance of the time that the wines add to the winery, and even their location and environmental conditions – those of the winery – take center stage in the descriptions of winemakers and sommeliers.

In Trebujena they talk about vineyards. We got there hand in hand Pepe Cabral (from the town of Medina Sidonia), who for years promoted the development of organic viticulture from the offices of La Junta; and took over Joaquin Gomez Beser, who in his role as advisor to the Cooperativa Albarizas recognizes the value of the traditional vineyard and fights and influences so that the wine reflects the origin: the Palomino grape, the vineyard itself, with its age and management, and the soil of Albariza, saline and characteristic. His personal project deserves a separate point, with Meridiano Perdido, a still wine from Palomino de Trebujena, from its three hectares of organic vineyards from the 1950s, with yields of 6,000 kilograms.

The 200 partners that currently form the Albarizas de Trebujena cooperative they own 265 hectares (1.5 on average) and 345 registered vineyards. The numbers speak of smallholdings, and of an attachment to those lands that turn them into gardens. It is an emotional bond that sees their pride rewarded with the recognition of their musts, which on a recurring basis receive prizes and awards. The organic Terralba 2019 obtained last year the Ecocluster of gold and it is the commitment of the partners towards viticulture, with the most traditional and natural.

With these credentials, and although the reference brand of the winery is Castillo de Guzmán, with that look towards the terroir so original in the Jerez Framework, and given the vocation of the Albarizas cooperative to transform musts into base wines for sale to (third) breeders, we set ourselves the challenge of talking about Terralba as an expression of typicality linked to the terroir, a look at wine as a projection of geographical origin, as in many other wine regions: Palomino de Trebujena.

Facilities of the Albarizas de Trebujena Vitivinícola cooperative / VINOS DE ALBARIZAS

Facilities of the Albarizas de Trebujena Vitivinícola cooperative / VINOS DE ALBARIZAS

But, what is the impression that invades those who come to Terralba? Because moving away from aging we go to variety and soils. Is it fine, does it contain freshness, minerality? Because there are some of the most important questions: Is it the soil, is it the variety, is it the climate or is it breeding? And what is surprising is its firmness, its texture and its meatiness, for a white that has long it is only known through boots... and it is always known that the maturation is slower and richer than in other parts of the Marco, and that is a trace that affects the wine, although deep down we prefer that it be the wandering explorer who dives and discovers his own messages: the packaging contains fragile topographies that require affection.

Steven Spielberg chose Trebujena to shoot The Sun’s empire (1987). The North American Director I was looking for exteriors that resemble the Chinese marshes of the Wusong River in Shanghai, and along with the extraordinary sunsets of the most primitive Guadalquivir it found its scene. That rural purity is a place in the world special; and it may be because of that hypnotic paradox of the deltaic that its people feel roots and healthy pride, away from the hubbub of the Marco axes, from Pepe Cabral and Joaquín Gómez to Isabel Galán, the girl who was serving in a bar when the Spielberg thing and who attracted John baker, Director of special effects of the Empire of the Sun with the commitment to stay in Trebujena.

The calm is absolute and comforting. The river is large and still refuses to merge with the sea. In its final meanders it becomes an estuary … it waits calm and patient, welcoming. The ocean and the salt are sensed, but it will still remain sinuous before finally opening up to the great blue. In Sanlúcar the ocean lights up the afternoon, in Trebujena is the green line of Doñana the one seen on the horizon. Doñana, so far and so close, until Seville we will not find any bridge that allows us to access.

Wine: Calm White Terralba

Price (in store): 6 euros

Taula de Vi de Sant Benet: Oriol Pérez de Tudela, Marc Lecha

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