Naming a wine is not easy. Beyond the fact that it might clash with brands that have previously been registered, the concept is always more substantial when there is a meaning behind it. In our case, the rich history of Abadía Retuerta has turned out to be an almost endless source of inspiration.
The information we have gathered over the years includes a rich toponymy that goes back to the days before the construction of the abbey in 1146, when monks lived in the vicinity of the Fuentes Claras shrine (Claris Fontibus). The name evidently came from the spring nearby.
One of the documents that has been most helpful in this task is a historical map dating from 1887. Drawn in great detail, it shows the distribution of crops in the last quarter of the 19th century as well as the location of the mountains, pine trees and names of the various paths, plots and parts of the estate. The names of our premium wines —Negralada, Valdebellón and Garduña— appear on these documents but there are plenty more, as you can see on this small classification that we have put together.
Land use. Place names that were associated to the crops that they produced such as La Huerta (the vegetable garden), La Chopera (an area with poplar trees), el Prado del Agua (the water meadow) or el Prado del Aceite (the oil meadow). The latter was planted with vines at a later date and was the spot where we discovered the pre-phylloxera vines that were the origin of our historic vineyard. In the case of el Prado del Agua, ground water is found very close to the surface. It is here where we grow our Petit Verdot grapes which are used for the single varietal PV (Petit Verdot).
Local fauna. Fans of our Syrah Pago Garduña will be glad to know that an area of the estate was named as such, after the nocturnal mammal which is very similar to the marten and likes to roam around sunny areas and meadows. There are more animal-related places in Abadía Retuerta: we also have a vineyard called Jabalina (female wild boar).
Geography and vegetation. The most evident is Negralada. We are almost certain that it is named after a pine grove found nearby which is planted with the species pinus nigra (black pine). Pine forests, usually found in the area’s sandy soils, are a landmark feature of the Duero landscape.
As for Valdebellón (written Valdevellón in the 19th century map), we believe it refers to a low area found on this spot. Similarly, the plot known as Loma (knoll) has a hilly profile and is where we grow our Merlot.
Historical elements. Places named after elements that no longer exist are harder to trace down. Nevertheless, it is inevitable to think that El Palomar (dovecote in English) —which was the name of a single vineyard wine we made in the past— owes its existence to a dovecote that must have been there. Or Polvorín (powder house), which must refer to a military base nearby. Similarly, Italianos might be related to the fact that some Italian army men were lodged in the abbey during the war.
Nonetheless, the most intriguing is Plaza de Toros. Apparently, there was a sandy area where a handful of wooden fences were erected to let the young bulls run during the fiestas of the surrounding villages.