Cepa 21 focuses on modern and minimalist methods of wine-making. The winery boasts a strong social conscience, adhering to 3 core principles: innovation, tradition, and social responsibility.
By Jeremy Matouk, published on Island Origins Magazine on the 20th of November, 2017
In spite of ridiculously high duties on wine, more and more, Trinibagonians are discovering the wine experience. Compared to beer and rum, our traditional drinks of choice, decent wine is quite expensive. But we are, nonetheless, developing a fascination with variety and exploring finer options in the process.
For me, the fascination began 40 years ago while at university trying to impress my future bride, but really became a passion in my 30s and thereafter. Having tried hundreds of wines from different countries and regions I became more and more inquisitive. In 2004 I decided to take a second honeymoon and explore several of Italy’s regions—specifically Piedmont, Tuscany and Umbria. I needed to experience first-hand where the wines were from, and to learn more about the people that made them.
What I discovered was such a romantic and educational experience. I knew then I had to be part of the world of wine—either as a winery owner or wine merchant. To do either necessitated much more travel and exploration. Over the next few years I visited wine regions in Napa, Sonoma, Chile, Argentina, Spain and France, so different from the cane fields that yielded the spirits of my home. Travel and exploration have taught me that all great wine has locational identity. Wine writers call it ‘terroir’ but it is more than that. It is also about culture, cuisine and tradition.
Our multi-cultural heritage and cuisine here on the islands of Trinidad and Tobago, lend themselves very well to all sorts of wine experimentation. A personal favorite with local cuisine is White Hermitage (from the Northern Rhône Valley) with curry. It’s a culinary marriage made in heaven. All it takes is an adventurous spirit and an open mind.
Located in the Ribera del Duero region of Spain, Emilio Moro represents a devotion to wine-making that goes back 3 generations. The family’s commitment survived the Spanish Civil War, when it held fast to grape-growing while most other farmers turned to more lucrative crops. The Emilio Moro Wineries stand out among their contemporaries because of their emphasis on research and technology to optimise the grape-growing process, and reduce the likelihood of certain vine diseases.
Eguren was founded in 1870 in the La Rioja region of Spain. Throughout its history, it has remained a family-owned winery, and is currently run by the 5th generation of the Eguren family. While it is among the longest-standing wineries in Europe, Eguren is now known for its modern wine-making methods. Eguren actually consists of 6 different wineries: Sierra Cantabria, Viñedos Sierra Cantabria, Señorío de San Vicente, Viñedos de Páganos, Teso La Monja, and Dominio de Eguren. The 6 wineries produce a total of 26 wines. From grape-growing to the fine arts of fermentation and aging, Eguren emphasises quality over quantity.
Viña Tondonia was founded in 1877 by the López de Heredia family. The winery is located in the small town of Haro in the La Rioja region of Spain. Viña Tondonia considers itself the “last of the Mohicans” when it comes to traditional wine-making methods. Currently, the winery is run by three siblings – the third generation of the López de Heredia family – who call themselves “vine-makers” rather than wine-makers, because they believe that the essential work of good wine-making happens in the vineyards. Everything after that is secondary. At no point in its history has the winery ever used a grape produced by another region.