DO Almansa lies about 100 kilometres inland from Valencia and Alicante, east of Albacete, in an area of 10,000 ha of vineyards at 700m above sea level. Its vineyards are characterised by low fertility, poor, calcareous soils, allowing for the retention of water, with an extreme continental climate of cold winters and hot summers, ideal for the cultivation of the Garnacha Tintorera, a red-fleshed grape indigenous to Almansa, as well as Monastrell, Tempranillo, Syrah and Verdejo and Sauvignon Blanc. The average annual rainfall, 410mm, is low which, with cold winters and spring nights, results in low yield, excellent quality grapes which produce highly-concentrated, coloured, aromatic wines.
Bodegas Piqueras was founded in 1915 by ‘El Abuelo’, Luis Piqueras, who, having won the Christmas lottery, purchased his first winery in Calle Campanario. His youngest daughter, Luisa, married Mario Bonete who studied oenology so that he could join the business. Mario was very much the driving force behind the creation of Almansa as a denomination. Now in their fourth generation, in 2003 Mario’s sons, Juan Pablo Bonete, winemaker, and his brother Angel, built a new purpose-built winery of 7000m2 with a production capacity of 3 million litres equipped with a bottling plant and 3500 barrels. In 2010 Angel’s sons, Pablo and Javier, joined the winery and now form part of the fourth generation. The winery now owns three Estates: 1.Finca Los Timonares, purchased in 2001, a 210 ha estate south of Almansa at 700m above sea level, in an area of poor, stoney, calcareous soils. In the middle of the estate is a cistern, Aljibe, a natural irrigation system, of Arab origin, built in the 19th century to supply water to nearby farms, and reformed in 2001 to serve its original purpose to irrigate in periods of drought. Within the Timonares Estate there is also an ecological sheep farm where sheep graze freely and help keep vegetation low, and organic fertilizer provides nutrients to the soil. 2.Finca Los Cuchillos estate with Piqueras’ oldest 60 year-old Monastrell and Garnacha Tintorera bush vines producing the most concentrated, powerful wines for Piqueras’ top wines. 3.Finca El Vinculo estate, a 280 ha organic Estate, purchased recently in 2017. In 2015, Piqueras celebrated 100 years, and to mark the occasion, launched the new Piqueras and El Abuelo ranges in addition to the established Castillo de Almansa, Marius and Valcanto labels.
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