Ramón Bilbao begins organic conversion

Zamora Company’s Spanish wine producer Ramón Bilbao has begun organic conversion for vineyard plots in Rioja and Rueda.

The producer achieved organic certification for its wineries in both DOs earlier this year and is now working towards official viticultural accreditation with ECOCERT. 

Research into the management of oidium has reduced the need for treatments for powdery mildew, which in-turn has lowered the chemical impact on the regions’ water tables.

“Our use of technology and on-the-job experience means we are able to map weather conditions and disease control requirements plot-by-plot, and this showed us that a seven-hectare vineyard in Yerga and certain plantings of our Verdejo in Rueda were ripe for organic certification,” said head winemaker Rodolfo Bastida.

“In Rioja Oriental we have Garnacha planted at altitude in a Mediterranean climate. Not only have we found this variety needs less disease control overall, but the prevailing wind here balances out humidity and temperature, helping us battle oidium more naturally.

“In Rueda, we have a dry, continental climate and our Verdejo here has always been more disease-resistant than most.”

The vineyards are now in a required transition period where all organic practices must be in place for three years before a wine can be released.

Ramón Bilbao plans to release its first organic wines - a Rueda white and Rioja red - from sourced grapes later this year.