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Chozas Carrascal – Building future heritage

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.

Founded by husband and wife Julián López and María José Peidro and having celebrated its 20th harvest in 2023, Chozas Carrascal has become one of Utiel-Requena’s most proactive and renowned producers. Recognising the intrinsic value of the estate’s terroir – a gently rolling slope, at an altitude between 750 and 840 metres, in one of the appellation’s coolest areas – and of the existing plots of old, bush-trained vines, the couple embarked on a path of renovation and expansion that has made Chozas Carrascal what it is today.

The founders’ children have since taken over the helm of the family’s estate: María José López-Peidro is responsible for operations, commercials, marketing and hospitality, while her brother Julián is the head of viticulture and winemaking. The generational change itself reflects strategic awareness and willingness to keep developing the estate in light of current and future challenges. It consolidates the family’s belief in the uniqueness of their corner of Utiel-Requena and of its potential to produce wines with incredible character while contributing to the broader ecosystemic balance. Today, as 20 years ago, Chozas Carrascal aims to produce ‘Mediterranean, altitude wines’, with character and sense of place.

Mindful expansion

María José and Julián have led the estate’s expansion from 26 to 80 hectares of vines (alongside 20ha of olive trees) while establishing a solid environmental programme that has seen its full conversion to organic farming. Rather than reflecting a dramatic change in approach, the certification simply reflected the consolidation of an ongoing focus on biodiversity and the respect for traditional Mediterranean agriculture, with polyculture and the integration of the local flora and fauna at its core.

The new generation places innovation and technical expertise at the service of tradition and heritage, striving to enhance terroir expression and preserve the quality of the fruit yielded by Chozas Carrascal’s prized vineyards. The existing 19th century house and cellar now stand next to a state-of-the-art winery, built with operational and energy efficiency in mind – yet another reflection of the family’s commitment to sustainable development.

Sense of place

The López-Peidros, however, do not approach sustainability merely from an efficiency and environmental point of view; it is also applied through the preservation of history, both in the vineyard and the cellar. Further to nurturing their valued stock of old vines and the quality of the wines they produce, the family has also invested in the knowledge and recognition of their land.

Julián has re-introduced traditional winemaking techniques and styles that shed new light on the identity of Utiel-Requena as well as on the potential of its different grape varieties, while also fine-tuning the more classical wines in the range to better express terroir and vintage.

These efforts culminated in the attainment of Pago status in 2012, and Chozas Carrascal remains one of only 24 estates across Spain to hold the individual DO stamp – a testament to the singularity of the estate’s terroir and to the quality potential of its vineyards. This in turn highlights, more broadly, the potential and character of the region of Utiel-Requena, making Chozas-Carrascal an example for other quality-minded producers.

Two wines that capture the sustainability approach of Chozas Carrascal

Anma Blanco
Macabeu, Garnacha Blanca
A wine that showcases the potential of Chozas Carrascal’s location and terroir to produce white wines with complexity, texture and depth balanced by freshness. The varieties are macerated, separately, for up to 24 hours before alcoholic fermentation for further textural expressiveness and aromatic layering. Aged on the lees, in stainless steel, for three months, and six months in oak foudres. Organic certified.

100% Bobal
A single-vineyard Bobal, from one of the estates’ older and more expressive plots. Cold maceration and alcoholic fermentation happen in troncoconic concrete vats, to retain the varieties trademark freshness and florality. Malolactic fermentation then happens in french oak barriques where the wine stays for up to 18 months. The result is a layeredyet fresh expression of Bobal, with depth, nuance and filigreed tannic structure. Organic certified.

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