In Eguren Ugarte we are committed to applied research and development, leading different pioneering projects in our vineyards in La Rioja. Our lines of research are primarily directed at environmental sustainability and at in-depth knowledge of our vineyards, all of which is the ultimate objective for excellence and the improved quality of our products.
- Precision viticulture
- Innovative vegetation handling techniques
- Plant ground cover
- Aromatic precursors in red grapes
- Soil cartography
In search of the maximum knowledge of our vineyards, we perform field measurements by using new technologies such as remote detection (flights with infra-red cameras) as well as ground sensors, grape colour, etc.
Our objective is to acquire the maximum information possible on our vines which allows us to extract the maximum potential and quality of each small part of them.
In this area, studies have been carried out on early leaf thinning in Tempranillo vineyards with a goblet and trellis training system.
This innovative early leaf thinning technique, which is performed during the flowering phase, means that the change from flower to fruit (“fruit setting”) is imperfect thus making the grape bunches smaller and looser. Thus we obtain more homogeneous fruit, more concentrated and of better quality.
The first results of this experiment are very promising both on a manual level and by using mechanical leaf thinning machinery in the case of trellised vines. The grape bunches obtained are far looser, with fewer diseases and with an improved content of colour and polyphenols.
Many or our vines are located at the foot of the Sierra de Cantabria Mountain Range, on hillsides with steep slopes where erosion and soil washing is frequent.
To prevent soil loss, one of the most important environmental problems in current agriculture, we assess the adaptation of different plant ground cover systems for our vineyards.
Preliminary results have been very positive, especially in vines planted in fresh soil where, moreover, it is possible to control the hardiness of the plants very positively.
In collaboration with the University of Castilla La Mancha, we are studying a pioneering method in order to determine the quantity of aromatic precursors contained in red grapes. Precursors are a very important part of the aromatic composition of the final wine. Moreover, the power to control their evolution during the ripening of the grape, as well as the content when picking, could be a very important piece of information to take into account for determining the harvesting date and the fermentation strategy.
IIn conjunction with the Basque research institute Neiker, we are drawing up a cartography of the soil where we grow our vines located in the districts of Labastida and Páganos in Alava. The objective of this study is to thoroughly familiarise ourselves with the land where our grapes are cultivated in order to extract their maximum expression.
All of our studies, as well as many more, are drawn up on a small scale in our micro-fermentations room. It is there where the grape is destemmed, placed in mini tanks with a capacity of 30 l, pressed and bottled, following strict protocols with the objective of observing the results of the experiments on the end wines. After a period in the bottle, the wines are assessed by a wine tasting panel comprised of expert oenologists, colleagues from neighbouring wineries.