CARLOS ESTECHA – OUR OENOLOGIST
Carlos Estecha is the technical director of Bodegas Franco-Españolas. With a degree in Oenology from the University of Rovira iVirgili (Spain) he is a specialist in Oeno-technology and winemaking and is also a graduate in Labour Relations at the University of La Rioja.
He has been an executive member of the Spanish Federation of the Winemakers Association and also of the Association of Rioja winemakers. He is a member of the Tasting Committee of the Regulatory Council of the Rioja Qualified Designation of Origin.
With a firm commitment and dedication to his work, Carlos Estecha is a frequent contributor to activities furthering the knowledge of Rioja wines -lectures, seminars, conferences and the publication of articles in specialised journals.
THE WORK AND IMPORTANCE OF THE OENOLOGIST
The oenologist is responsible for the winemaking process which begins in the vineyard, with the selection of the vineyards suitable for making wine, the grapes, the harvesting and collection of the grapes and all the processes within the winery: from crushing to fermentation, followed by the ageing and the bottling process right up to the final and most important stage when the wine leaves the winery and makes its way to the table.
The winemaking process is complex and slow, so winemakers are highly trained and skilled in problem-solving. The first responsibility of the winemaker is working in the vineyard to control the ripening and the quality of the grapes and to ensure their suitability for the wine to be processed.
Once the grapes have been harvested, the winemaker oversees their transport to the winery, the crushing, pressing and fermentation processes – in other words, the transition from grape to must and must to wine. He looks after mixing the different musts and wines resulting from the harvest of the grapes in order to achieve the organoleptic characteristics (colour, aroma and taste) of each of the wines produced. He is also in charge of ageing and bottling, processes which he watches over carefully to ensure that when you open a bottle of wine you will enjoy it to the fullest.