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Tuesday, June 12th, 2018

The four gems of wine Modernism

Not only does Modernism reach the city, but also the Valencian countryside, where some of the most spectacular wineries in Spain are hidden

Mas de Bazán

Modernism is that young, free and reformist movement, associated with the Belle Époque and Art Nouveau, which in Valencia exploded into colours in stained glass windows and ceramic facades. From the enormous dome in the Mercat Central, to the mosaics in the Estación del Norte, with tiles that relate to everyday life in the countryside, but in the heart of the city. The artistic movement is also printed on the pinnacles of the Mercado de Colón, the crenels of the Casa Ordeig and the sculptures of the Casa de los Dragones, where not only are these mythological beings hidden, but also a locomotive. From the Palacio de la Exposición, built in barely 70 days in la Alameda, to the Asilo de San Juan de Dios, proudly set up next to the Malvarrosa beach.

Jewellery, glassware, furniture and ironwork; nothing escapes the embrace of this electric impulse of art.  Not even the countryside. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Valencian bourgeoisie assimilated the modernist architecture as a part of its idiosyncrasies, which not only entailed its presence in the city centres, but also in the estates on the outskirts. Therefore, there are very well-built farmer buildings, but particularly wine-making spaces. Some wineries are authentic architectural marvels, which delight the senses, and not only for the taste of the wine that they produce. A simple glance at the façade of Torre Oria or Mas de Bazán makes you understand the rich legacy of the Valencian countryside, along with the potential to invest in it, now that the wine-making tourism route Requena-Utiel is consolidated as a union of tradition and modernity.

The peak: Torre Oria

Those that sight its tower once in their life will remember it forever. The silhouette of Torre Oria, founded in 1897 by the Oria de Rueda family, defines itself as the Domain of El Derramador of Requena. Its minaret looks like it is taken from the dream of an astronomer, from a story of oriental Lejano. Nevertheless, it belongs to the early Modernism movement, that of the end of the 19th century, as it reveals the well-maintained ceramics of the façade. Beyond its artistic value, its output capacity is found: Torre Oria brought cava to Requena and is distinguished for being the first winery outside of the Penedés to manufacture under this Designation of Origin. Furthermore, its commitment to offer wines adapted to the tastes of each market with a good quality-price ratio (up to the point in which its slogan is “We do not make wines that we like, but those that our clients like”) enabled it to mark the end of the fiscal year 2016 with a historic turnover of 12.7 million euros. This is to say that, after having been invested by Angels, an initiative fuelled by Juan Roig, it has quadrupled its sales in under five years.

Torre Oria

The mansion: Mas de Bazán

The dream of possessing a Modernist winery built in 1905 can become the most tangible reality. The beautiful building of Mas de Bazán appears amongst the vegetation of Villar de Olmos, in Requena, as though it were a mansion from previous eras. It boasts a privileged location for wine-making, and also its technical characteristics are completely up to date. At the end of the 1990s a refurbishment of its facilities was carried out, with great respect for its unique architecture, but with the aim of converting it into one of the most competitive investments, because it is indeed for sale, and is awaiting an owner who knows how to take advantage of its grape sorting tables, its heat exchangers, its historical vertical press, or its wide-wall production room, perfectly conditioned in terms of temperature and humidity. Amongst the wines, its first production of vintage wines got the Gold classification in the magazine Vinos de España and in the tasting of the wine experts of Utiel-Requena. In the same way, it obtained the Silver award in the International Wine Spirit Competition celebrated in London in 2002.

The patios: Emilio Clemente

For sale. The historic winery Emilio Clemente, also from the D.O. Utiel-Requena, is searching for a new owner who wants to preserve the legacy ceded by a third generation of wine makers. The building is also representative of the architectural character of the area. Built at the end of the 19th century, the house has recently been renovated, respecting the Modernist style which is exhibited both in the disposition of the floor, and in the interior living rooms and the patios. Monastery doors, wooden beams, antique ceramic flooring and hand-made tiling are just some of the attractions of this property. Emilio Clemente is also a central point of wine tourism, where numerous activities and tastings are organised, located within the Finca Caballero, right in the centre of las Hoces del Cabriel Natural Park. Its wines are modern and denote an exquisite quality but above all are the result of a long-lasting and enriching experience.

Emilio Clemente

The environment: Aranleón

This is such a respectful winery that ends up merging into its surrounding environment. The history of Aranleón starts in 1927, as a humble estate from the small town of Los Marcos, but was expanded in 2000, as a result of the sale of the current owners. They are pioneers, not only in the production of ecological wine, but also in the sustainable management, and even in the wine-making facilities and the extension work carried out in 2006. The winery preserves the elements that allow it to be defined as a Modernist building, both emblematic and functional, like the shape of its floor and of its own roof. The heart of its history can be accessed through a “time warp”, excavated in an old warehouse, which takes you directly to the past. However, it has plenty of future ahead of it. In charge of its production is a young and professional team that, from the first production of vintage wine in 2003, has achieved an ecological wine that has a distinguished taste. A result talks about the good work done, but also about the result of union amongst tradition and modernity in Valencian territory.

Aranleón

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