India has become a large market for wines from across the world, and Ego Bodegas is one of the many wineries that’s making a splash amongst Indian wine drinkers. 

Ego Bodegas was founded in 2011 by Santos Ortiz and Ioana Paunescu. With no heritage or family traditions to preserve, the couple started with a clean slate and completed the construction of an impressive modern cellar in 2016. Located 15 minutes by car, North of Jumilla town, Ego Bodegas produces wines from the main grape varietal in DOP Jumilla, sometimes blended with Syrah, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon. 

“Our wines come in a modern style. It is approachable, fresh wines with moderate alcohol, not too much body, varietal flavours to the fore. Everything is in balance,” says Irene Gomez, Chief Winemaker at Ego Bodegas. 

Today, Irene Gomez gives us a little glimpse into Ego Bodegas, the winemaking processes, and why the Indian market is a great deal for international wineries to enter into. 

Tell us a little bit about your role at Ego Bodegas.

My role is simple – I make wines. Haha. To elaborate on that, my day starts with a general check in the vineyard and winery to ensure the grapes and wine condition, and pretty much followed by exploring the wine styles with my colleagues for the rest of the day. I have to say I am lucky enough to work at Ego Bodegas, a place that gives me full freedom to explore and create my ideal wine style. And grateful enough, it is aligned with the philosophy of Ego Bodegas, and not to mention it is widely accepted by many wine lovers out there. 

According to you, what makes a great wine?

Balance is what makes the difference. I believe that each step of the winemaking process should be carried out in just the right measure and in the right proportion to ensure balance and harmony in the wines. Excellence is achieved when everything is harmonised and you manage to make a wine that you like and your customers like.

What excites you the most about your brand?

What I like the most is how we link the image of the label with what is inside the bottle. We try to make a wine that suits the image, with that same level of madness and complexity. At Ego Bodegas, our strategy is that we really like the wine ourselves, that we enjoy drinking it. We’re not aiming for a narrow range of taste.

What wine(s) do you consider your flagship, and why?

No brainer, the El Goru series. This series has the best expression of the Monastrell with the touch of the wood that results in a round and very elegant wine, which best represents our region DOP Jumilla. 

Can you share some of the winemaking processes you use and why you particularly use those? 

The challenge with Monastrell is to extract the depth of ideal colour without over-extracting the tannins.  Hence, we use a maceration and pumping over method called pigeage, with which I achieve a more subtle and controlled extraction. It gives me the freedom to adjust each extraction to what I want to achieve in each wine.

Let’s talk about trends. Wine trends have changed a lot over the past few years. What are some of the wine trends you see coming through in the near future?

Instead of a wine trend, I would like to consider it as different wine preferences. In the wine world, we are given the freedom to play around with so many possibilities, according to a consumer’s preferences. At the moment, I can see that a lower degree with a more fruit-wood profile is what consumers prefer the most.

What interests you the most about the Indian wine market? 

The potential of the Indian wine market is large. Despite the large population and increasing consumption, I think what amazed me the most is the curiosity of wine consumers on the wine itself. Indian wine consumers genuinely want to learn more about grape varietals and the wine-producing regions and appellations, so that they can make more informed choices when it comes to wine selection. And the fact that Ego Bodegas ́ wines highlight the best of Monastrell grape variety from DOP Jumilla, Spain, is what I think is a must-try for Indian customers, to broaden their wine knowledge on some under-rated wine varieties. And this is what we love to see in Ego Bodegas.

What’s next for Ego Bodegas in the Indian Market?

I’d love to see more wines of the El Goru Series be available in the Indian market, as I know there are many fans there, and I want everyone to have access to all these amazing wines.

Lastly, what are you drinking right now? 

The one-and-only El Goru 38 Barrels from the El Goru Series. FYI: It is a special oak-aged wine in the series, 12 months aged in oak barrels. This is a blend of Monastrell, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. As its name indicates, this is made from only a batch of 38 barrels. 

Originally published September 20, 2022

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