Almaroja and Charlotte Allen
Almaroja Arribes Location. Credit: www.almaroja.es
Carlota Allen of Bodega Almaroja is an English ex-pat living in the village of Fermoselle, the "Wild West" of Spain. She makes her wines from 75+-year-old organic vineyards, co-fermenting these field blends, which contain up to 16 different red and white varietals that few have heard of. Her average yield is 10 hectoliters per hectare (about a half-ton per acre--very little).
The stories of this Englishwoman's adventures originating from her inherent ability to make snap decisions, her French and Southafrican wine experiences, and the great advice Didier Belondrade (We sell their awesome Verdejo) gave her to set up shop in an unknown winemaking area in Spain are definitely worth a read (Check them out in their website!).
In the vineyard, Charlotte tends the vines herself. Everything is organic, and she adheres to some biodynamic practices and calendars. Treatments for disease, when needed, are taken care of with botanical blends (such as sage and nettle). Ploughing is done by mule or tractor, depending on the accessibility of the vineyard.