In Eastern Spain there lies a small town so rich in winemaking history that archaeologists found deep in the heart of the city, the ruins of a wine cellar dating back to the first-century. That town is the Yecla, a temperate town in the Spanish region of Murcia.
Wine Connection speaks to Daniel Castaño , Commercial Director of the renowned Castaño winery in the Yecla and grandson of legendary winemaker Ramón Castaño Santa to find out why the Castaño name is synonymous with Monastrell and Yecla red wine today.
Wine Connection: Hi Daniel, tell us more about the legacy and history of Bodegas Castaño.
My father, Ramón Castaño was the son of viticulturers who have always lived in the Yecla. In 1950, he became one of the original pioneers of the DO Yecla when he founded Bodegas Castaño at a time when winemaking was largely forgotten in the Yecla. He began bottling his own high-quality Monastrell wines from 1980 onwards, opening the door for other producers in the region. Today, with his three sons (myself, my brothers Ramón and Juan Pedro) fully incorporated to the winery, Castaño wines continue to be celebrated across countries.
Above: Daniel Castaño, Commercial Director and son of founder Ramón Castaño
Wine Connection: What makes Yecla a special place in Spain?
At present Yecla is a town of 35,000 inhabitants counting on a long winemaking tradition. The first record we have of vine planting dates from the Phoenician period, but the remains of the first wine-production premises found in the area are later and date from Roman Empire times. The historical evolution of winemaking is simply breathtaking.
Above: Ramon Castaño, founder of Bodegas Castaño and his sons Danil, Juan Pedro and Ramon
Wine Connection: What is special/unique about the Monastrell grape?
There are 12,000 hectares of the Monastrell grape across the world, out of which half are located within the Yecla and 500 hectares owned by us, the Castaño Family.
This variety perfectly suits the climatic and orographic conditions of Yecla, because it is able to bear the extreme temperature from winter to summer and endure the long periods of drought.
Yecla is the ideal climate for the Monastrell grape as it sits within the Antiplano zone (where the Mediterranean and Continental climates converge), providing the Monastrell grape its vivid colour, body, structure and smoothness.
Wine Connection: Tell us more about your favorite Castaño wine, and why.
For me, one of the most enjoyable wines is our Castaño Monastrell Red, a young wine that be drunk any day and at any time, whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or simply relaxing on the sofa after a long work day.
Wine Connection: Lastly, where do you see Bodegas Castaño in 20 years?
Bodegas Castaño has achieved worldwide recognition, which is already a dream come true for us. We want to continue preserving our values of family, quality and value, with an emphasis on taking good care of our lands, wines and of course our customers as the big family that we are.
Shop Castaño wines including the popular 2013 CASTANO "Hecula" - Monastrell, Yecla DO (Bronze medal, International Wine & Spirit Competition, 2015) and 2012 CASTANO "Solanera" - Monastrell, Yecla DO and 2013 CASTANO "Dulce" Monastrell or check out Wine Connection's new arrivals here!