""A society grows healthily when people plant trees whose shade they know they'll never enjoy" "
At Ossian we perpetuate a legacy that goes back five centuries. We work to maintain and recover hundred-year-old vineyards that were not decimated by phylloxera, in a land of privileged soils and an extreme climate that marks the character of the ancestral and authentic Verdejo.
A commitment to ecology.
We would not even think of working this type of vineyard other than organically. We observe and learn from the ecosystem in order to find a natural balance between man, the environment and the vine, paying tribute to vines that are a valuable wine-growing legacy.
The Verdejo from the land of Segovia.
Among seas of pine groves in the Segovian countryside, the hawthorns take root in sandy soils and tongues of slate. These are poor soils that force the vines to give the best of themselves in extreme climate conditions. Most of the vines are very old. Some have been here for two centuries, and have seen several generations of winemakers pass by. Our goal is to immortalize that heritage by obtaining a fruit that will last in memory.
Most of our vineyards in and around Nieva are rooted in sandy matrix soils.
The land of pine groves becomes not only a geographical reference but also a key characteristic for the historic preservation of the vines that grew there. This was key to the phylloxera plague at the end of the 19th century hardly affecting the Nieva vineyard: insect larvae could not thrive on the texture of sand.
Thanks to this natural defense, today we find here ungrafted vines, that is, predating phylloxera.
In the northern Segovian countryside, two ages converge.
Palaeozoic materials, formed 500 million years ago, meet Tertiary soils, which date back 25 million years. An indissoluble past that shapes the character of our varietal. Two geologies of widely different epochs that emerge on surfaces that are also very different in appearance, composition and influence.
The Ossian vines were ungrafted: their roots penetrate very deeply into the soil, developing a complete root system that finally contributes to a greater balance and expressiveness in the wines. A Cambrian slate tongue surrounds the town of Santa María la Real de Nieva.
They are very ancient materials, and on them settle the hawthorns from which the Capitel grapes come. A singular minerality, sharply angular and cold, is manifested in this wine born from these ochre layers of shale hark.
An highly demanding environment.
At an average altitude of 900 meters above sea level, even exceeding a thousand in some plots, conditions become extreme. Even for vines that have seen decades go by. During the winter temperatures of fifteen degrees Celsius below zero (15 F) are reached, which contrasts with dry and hot summers, with temperatures often exceeding thirty degrees (86 F).
Contrasts that mark the character.
The snows, which visit us frequently in the coldest seasons, cover the seas of pinewood and vineyard and lend them a magical look. The summer, on the other hand, subjects the vines to an intense but balanced hydric stress. All these characteristics further enhance the marked varietal flavor of our wines.
"For native Northamericans the land was a sacred gift from nature, offering humankind all they needed to survive. All they had to do in exchange was care for it, cherishing it for the nurturing gift it was."
The harvested grape is the embodiment of long months of arduous and constant close work with the vines, where the efforts are aimed at limiting the production to enhance quality by viticulture practices such as dry pruning, green pruning, removal of shoots, thinning budding bunches and deleafing the vines. These manual tasks are done in between other mechanical work where machinery intervenes for tasks such as tipping shoots with young leaves after blossoming has occurred, aerate the soil passing a tractor between the rows with an aerator tractor in some plots while in others the plant cover is leftintact.
All treatments applied are done within the most ecological possible framework, soil and plant amendments, irrigation… all done according to the most modern technologies offered by integrated precision viticulture. These viticultural tasks help us define the grapes that will be harvested and its characteristics: grade, polyphenolic concentration, pH, acidity…
"Knowing the right time to act requires patient waiting."
Deciding when to harvest is one of the most important decisions taken in the winery. It is determined based on the many and very complex factors that come into play, such as climatic parameters, how the grape growth cycle has developed and intensive grape analyses.
This is a decision that requires input from all the experts from winery and vineyard, who have to carefully weigh the information gathered through months of sampling and observing the evolution of the vines.