Spanischer Rotwein in Berlin Mitte

Spanish red wine from the Bodega Cerrón

We loved the wines from Bodega Cerron from the very first sip. With unusual labels and meaningful names such as "El Sentido de la Vida - The Meaning of Life". We visited the bodega in the summer and met great people with a convincing philosophy.

We have an appointment with Ilaria. She is the girlfriend of Juan Jose Cerdan Garcia, the eldest son of the Cerrón family. The winery is located in the south-east of Spain, in Fuente Álamo in the Castilla la Mancha region. Ilaria takes us to where it all begins, the vineyard. We drive over the "Fountain of the Wild Rose", as she tells us on the way, a small, very old stone gateway. When we arrive, a small piece of land with many small vines stretches out in front of us. We get out of the car. It's a very special piece of land, Ilaria emphasises. Her boyfriend and she bought it just three years ago.

"Back then, it was completely overgrown, as it had lain fallow for many years after the Spanish Civil War."

We walk up the slightly steep hill while Ilaria and I chat. This is the first year that the vines have started to bear fruit again. "Thanks to the care of the last few years, the plants have the energy they need again." You can see the pride in Ilaria's eyes. For her, the plants are alive and have character. "They want to stay alive," she says, "and were only in survival mode before." They are 80-year-old vines with roots up to 20 metres long that draw the water they need from the deep groundwater.

But it's not just the vines that make this wine special. It is also the soil on which the vines grow. While it is hard and rocky at the bottom of the mountain, it becomes increasingly sandy and reddish towards the top. It consists of limestone and clay, through which all the wild herbs grow. I take in an intense scent and only then realise that I have walked over a small thyme bush.

"You can taste what the land gives you"

says Ilaria and promises to let us experience this during the wine tasting. The vines are harvested by hand, which is a matter of course for Ilaria. It's the only way to best sort the grapes. Nevertheless, they are currently considering buying a donkey to pull the cart between the vines. "But you have to buy a good donkey," emphasises the grandfather, otherwise you would only have problems.


During a brief stopover in the small grocery shop, almost like ours, we ask Ilaria about the wine labels. What until now have been somewhat eerie-looking old family photos for us are fond memories for Garcia's grandfather. "El Sentido de la Vida" portrays his wife, who passed away just a few years ago. She left a big hole in his life. "She wanted to travel all her life, but she never got round to it," Ilaria explains. Now she can travel the world together with the wine, according to her grandfather's idea. A lovely story, we think.

A few kilometres further on, we drive to the wine cellar. The building is built into the mountain. It looks modern and a little "high-tech", but still harmonises with nature. We enter and are happy about the pleasantly cool air and the silence that prevails in the wine cellar. It is not machines, but the mountain and the mountain air that guarantee the perfect climate for the wine. Ilaria wants to show us the development of the wine.

"You are working with something alive, which makes working with the wine never boring," she emphasises.

The wine matures in several steel tanks, but also in clay jugs and wine barrels. Ilaria lets us taste each one. There are still rough edges, but what we could just see and smell on the mountain we can actually taste 1:1 in the wine. The fresh herbs on the nose and deep in the throat on the finish, the minerality from the limestone and even the sandy flavour from the clay... you can taste it all.

At the end, we ask her what her favourite thing about her work is. The harvest time. It's like when she was a child, playing on the beach all day and falling asleep in the evening with the pleasant feeling of complete exhaustion.