We put a lot of effort into R&D with a clear aim in mind: to keep a natural balance while making the most of the new technologies and opting for new research, development and innovation projects as a way towards improvement.
In 1994, Bodegas Ochoa became the first winery in Spain to undertake an R&D Project. Ever since then, we have maintained a steady program of investment and experimentation, with undiminishing respect and commitment to integrated agriculture.
Some of our projects include: water stress control mechanisms, irrigation and vegetation cover,late-harvest small-grain muscatel, MdO 5.5% proof spumante, Zero carbon footprint …
Years of work, research and experimentation have taught us that careful viticulture and low yields are the only way to achieve a great wine.
Our innovating spirit is never at odds with allegiance to our legacy. Our current vineyards are the offspring of the old vines of our ancestors. Research has enabled us to use vegetative multiplication on a selection of the best strains in order to continue producing the quality of wine required to carry the Ochoa label.
Health and ecology are two more basic issues for Bodegas Ochoa: we practise integrated viticulture, which means that we treat the soil in the same way as our grandparents but using the latest technology.
This company received 50% co financing from the European Regional Development Fund under the Navarra FEDER Operative Program 2007-2013.
We monitor our vineyards closely throughout the year, using the latest technology and regular, close inspection of each vine plant.
The year begins with pruning, when we remove last season’s canes to allow the growth of new shoots to produce the grape buds. We use the short pruning method (Double cordon), to achieve a low yield and high sugar concentration at the next harvest.
After its winter hibernation, around the time of the Calends of March, the vine “weeps”; that is, its roots begin to absorb water from the soil, the sap rises, and the first sign of life can be seen. New shoots begin to appear in April, and flowering occurs in May. In June and July, it is time for “green” pruning to ensure the quality of our vines. We know every estate, every plot and every vine.
It is through this constant personal dedication that we understand our vines so well and know when each variety has reached its optimum ripeness and is ready for harvesting. At Bodegas Ochoa we do not harvest all varieties at once; nor do we always follow the same sequence. Here, every grape is harvested when it should be, because nature has decided it’s time.
The grape harvest usually begins in August, which is when we pick the unripe grapes for our ‘Agraz-Verjus’ dressing. The small-grain Muscatel tends to reach the winery in the first week or two of September, followed a few days later by the Merlot, the Tempranillo, the Chardonnay and the Viura. The Grenache, Graciano and Cabernet-Sauvignon are generally the last varietals to be harvested.
Most of our vineyards are in Traibuenas, an enclave carefully chosen by Javier Ochoa for its unique microclimate, at 400 m. above sea level, with annual rainfall of less than 350 mm³. We avoid overworking the land and harvest less than a million kilos of grapes, handling every one with the utmost delicacy.
The soil is tilled using traditional methods but with the aid of modern equipment to avoid damage to the vine or the grapes. Our approach is designed to produce grapes of the highest quality through yield control.
Most of the harvesting is done in the dark to protect the grape from damage by light and heat, by getting the grape from vine to vat in just half an hour, we prevent fermentation and maintain the quality of the juice, which is also closely monitored in our laboratories.