The story of Numanthia dates back to Roman times. In 134 B.C., the residents of the ancient city of Numancia resisted the Roman invaders, choosing to die over surrender. This noble heritage is why the Numanthia terroir is so unique: its vines have never been grafted, and some are more than 120 years old! They are hardy and resistant, able to endure the region’s extreme climate conditions – harsh winters and scorching summers – as well as phylloxera attacks. Situated in northwest Spain, on clay plateaus and slopes, the vineyard produces intense and powerful vintages year after year. The wines are produced solely from the Spanish “Tinta de Toro” variety, and are left to ripen fully, giving particularly concentrated and aroma-rich grapes. They are the very best expression of the Spanish Toro Designation of Origin. Numanthia’s true treasure relies in its centenarian vineyards that have resisted the extreme weather conditions of this semi-arid area, as well as the invasion of phylloxera that destroyed most of Europe’s vineyards in the 19th century, and finally the emergence of modern mechanization in agriculture in the 1950s. The result of this epic endurance was that a number of small plots of vineyards survived and were carefully managed by local families, who preserved them over the years, fully aware of the extraordinary value of their land and of its emblematic variety of grape, the Tinta de Toro. This historical parallel inspired the homage and name of our winery, Numanthia.
Numanthia is an intense expression of the domain’s know-how and terroir. The grapes used are selected from the whole Toro terroir, taken from exceptional vines that are between 50 and 100 years old. The vineyards deliver extremely concentrated and intensely fruity bunches, which are hand-picked at optimum ripeness.
The Numanthia estate covers 80 hectares. On these sunny parcels, the vineyards are distinctive in their layout; they are located far away from one another and are not aligned in perfect rows, due to the dry climate. In order to survive, the vines need plenty of space so that their roots can spread out deep into the soil. But the Numanthia vines are unique not only in terms of their natural layout, but also their age: 40% are over 70 years old, and the extraordinary 4.8-hectare parcel of Teso de los Carriles includes a handful of vine stocks that are over 120 years old! The art of oenology entails extracting the very best from these incredible vines, particularly the intense fruit aromas that are so specific to the Tinta de Toro grape, while shaping the elegance and structure of this appellation. While this approach to winemaking is shared by all three wines produced at the estate, each of them (Termes, Numanthia and Termanthia) has its own style, sometimes tannic and fruity, sometimes intense and powerful.
A hidden treasure can be found at the boundary of this age-old estate: a 16th-century church, built by Rodrigo Gil de Hontañon, architect to the Catholic Monarchs. The building is at the top of the village of Valdefinjas, and had been in ruins since the 1970s. But something about the extraordinary story of this church touched Estate Director Manuel Louzada. In his view, the building “is part of the heritage of Numanthia. It could not be allowed to deteriorate further.” A renovation project was financed by the House in order to restore this architectural gem. Work was carried out on the walls, the structure and the roof, to prevent it from collapsing completely. In seven months, the church’s exterior was returned practically to its original state. “The inside, which only needed to be cleaned, houses some wonderful treasures including the sacristy floor, and a magnificent cupola carved into the stone.” This outstanding discovery, revealed to local residents during an organized tour, has energized the village and given the estate a priceless historical treasure.
- 80 Number of hectares owned by the estate
- 1880 Year when the first Numanthia vines were plante
- 100% Numanthia wines are produced only from the Tinta de Toro grape variety