BOCOPA: The Organic Project
In 1996 a group of farmers, following the enthusiastic drive of Gaspar Tomas, oenologist and director of BOCOPA, and of his technical team, decided to go into action and start an organic vineyard cultivation project.
The following year, 1997, saw the launch of the first organically certified BOCOPA wine. It was a young wine, combining Monastrell and Tempranillo grapes, and called “Castillo de Alicante”.
Over time we have added more producers, new varieties, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Garnacha, Syrah, Petit Verdot and Macabeo, and a large variety of cultivation conditions, providing us with many possibilities for the design of new wines.
Our wine production has also evolved, and so, in addition to our young wines, we have set out on new paths, such as ageing the wine in barrels and producing liquor wines.
Currently, BOCOPA has a total organic cultivation area of 325 hectares, with 20 associated farmers, making it one of the most important wineries in Spain.
The Organic Vineyard:
The organic vineyards of BOCOPA can be divided into two large groups based on grape variety. The first group consists of Monastrell variety plots which are representative of the traditional cultivation philosophy from the area, which entails: low planting density per hectare (1500 plants), dry-land, head-pruned cultivation, and an average age of more than 30 years. It is a group of plots adapted to the environment, with a low level of nutrient requirements and pests, making them excellent for organic cultivation.
The second group comprises all the varieties which have had an international impact in the last 15 years, with higher planting densities, grown on trellis and with the possibility of irrigation. These plots have, in many cases, been designed for organic cultivation from the very beginning of planting.
An Ideal Terroir For Organic Wines:
The soil where the BOCOPA organic vineyard is located, is varied, but it combines a series of common characteristics that will define the personality of the wines produced: they are light soils, which improves solar refraction and hence, improve the sunlight exposure of the grape; they are poor in nutrients and rich in active limestone, which does not allow for large yields but enables the plant to utilise the resources available easily; and they have a significant clay base and a high content of large elements (stones), which makes them permeable and fresh, with a good water retention capacity, and enables an efficient use of the available water.
We are located in an area with a Mediterranean-continental transition climate, which means the area has very cold winters and long, dry and warm summers. This is particularly beneficial for the medium to long cycle varieties (the ones we grow) at the end of the ripening process. It is an area with little and highly concentrated rainfall, so grape health and disease management is very efficient with a very small number of treatments.
In our area, irrigation is performed with moderate quantities of water at the right moments, in order to obtain the correct ripeness, to achieve the most relevant relationships of grape ripeness, sugar and fruit size and of pH-acidity, with the aim of reaching the best conditions for producing our wines.
Generally speaking, yields are low, ranging from 3000 kg/ha in the dry-land plots with densities of 1500 plants/ha to 5500 kg/ha in the irrigated plots with densities of 2500 plants/ha
Over the years we have incorporated new creations and lines with the Monastrell variety as the basis of all combinations, and so, starting with our first rich young Monastrell wines, where the grape is the main protagonist, we have been adding new varieties which have enable us to launch exclusive single variety wines with unique characteristics. Later on, and when the wine resulting form a especial selection was suitable, we have played with the barrel to produce more sophisticated and structured wines, offering our customers exclusive wines we hope they feel proud about.
The human team:
This project would have never succeeded without the enthusiastic dedication of the BOCOPA’s team. The leadership of the oenologist and technical director, Gaspar Tomás, the work of oenologists David Llopis and Juana Madrigal and the field technician Antoni Santonja, and the daily and quiet labour of 20 farmers, have transformed this wonderful challenge into a reality and have enable us to offer you these wines for your enjoyment.
Bodegas BOCOPA has been marketing their partners’ wines with the CEE 2092/91 certification since 1997. Additionally, we have the demanding BIOSUISSE certification and comply with the USA standard for organic agriculture (NOP-USDA).