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Bodegas Vibe – Tardana and Bobal, from root to table

In partnership with D.O. Utiel-Requena

Exploring how D.O. Utiel-Requena's flagship producers place sustainability at the core of their operations and ethos.

There’s a particular quality about wines made with their gastronomic potential in mind. A combination of aromatic depth, textural complexity and drinkability are the attributes that have defined the stylistic approach of Bodegas Vibe and that distinguish them from many of their counterparts. This is hardly surprising, given the background of the winery’s founders, a family behind multiple restaurants and catering providers in and around Valencia.

Tardana and Bobal take centre stage

Founded in 2015 – following the purchase of an existing estate – the boutique winery is located in El Azagador, a village at the edge of the Requena municipality. Led by Raúl Vicente Bezjak and with Juan Carlos García López in charge of winemaking and cellar management, Bodegas Vibe have built a collection of labels that have Utiel-Requena’s flagship indigenous varieties – Tardana and Bobal – as protagonists, and food-pairing potential as chief quality.

Grapes are sourced from vineyards surrounding the winery – an operational proximity that echoes the overall community-led philosophy of the project. Rather than expansion, Vibe has as its main goal the exploration of the local terroir and of the expressive potential of the two local varieties. Building upon a shared love for Utiel-Requena, its indigenous grapes and a fierce professionalism, Bezjak and García López are steering Bodegas Vibe towards mindful growth, based on an ongoing research on how best to interpret Bobal and Tardana. García López has notably been leading experiments on Tardana’s affinity with oak; the promising results will certainly encourage both the Vibe team and other producers to use the variety for more structured, age-worthy wines.

Bodegas Vibe, El Azagador, Requena

Promoting local supply chains – and local value

Each vintage, Bodegas Vibe shows the potential of the DO’s varieties to produce wines of consistent quality and balanced complexity, at moderate alcohol levels – further showing their relevance in the face of climate change and changing consumer demand. Through the other ventures led by the Bezjak family, the wines have found their place at some of Valencia’s most prestigious hospitality venues (including Contrapunto Les Arts at Valencia’s iconic Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía, designed by Santiago Calatrava) – evidence that Tardana and Bobal deserve a place on quality wine lists, alongside a variety of cuisines.

It’s also an important proof of concept: Utiel-Requena’s wines, with their quality and singularity, can have premium and successful routes to market at the DO’s doorstep. There’s an important audience of informed, knowledgeable consumers craving wines just like those produced by Vibe: approachable, pure and characterful.

Harvest at Bodegas Vibe

Two wines that capture the sustainability approach of Bodegas Vibe

Parsimonia Tardana
100% Tardana
A pure, straightforward expression of Tardana, produced with fruit from El Azagador as well as nearby Los Serranos. The grapes are destemmed, crushed and undergo a pre-fermentation at low temperatures, prior to fermentation in stainless steel. The wine balances intense aromatic expressiveness (with fleshy orchard and tropical fruit and creamy citrus) with vibrant acidity. A fine layer of spice adds energy and definition.

Parsimonia Bobal de Autor
100% Bobal
Hailing from bush-trained vineyards with a minimum 65 years of age, where harvest is done by hand. Alcoholic fermentation happens in french oak barrels, where the wine stays for four months, on the fine lees, with bâtonnage; it then sees four further months of ageing in the same barriques. The result is a wine that brings out the fruit intensity of Bobal and underpins its Mediterranean character, with aromas of red cherry, plum and blueberry lined with thyme, oregano and rosemary.

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