Bodegas Tierra Hermosa re-visited

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I first wrote about Harry Hunt, founder of Tierra Hermosa, towards the end of 2012, telling the fascinating story of his exit from the stress-filled world of Blue-Chip PR in order to take up the more tranquil role of winemaker in the mountains of the Sierra Nevada. (I’ve posted an in-depth version of this article here http://www.colinharknessonwine.com/articles/ so you can read some background if you’d like to know a little more about Harry and Tierra Hermosa).
The beauty of having a negociant wine making business is that, up to a point, you have available to you a selection of vineyards from which to source your grapes. A bodega that owns its own vineyards is often restricted to that which he owns, although that isn’t always a problem, of course, as there are many wineries which own spectacular vineyards and make superb wines!
The negociant hasn’t had the cost of buying the land, and this impacts on his retail price, of course – to the consumer’s advantage! Plus, providing that the vineyard owners he approaches are willing to sell some of their grapes, he can choose from where he wants his grapes. This choice will be determined by the style that the winemaker wants for his wines.
If, for example, he/she is looking for a wine with a mineral character, he’ll be looking for sites whose slate/stone/granite soil make-up will help. If he/she wants to use a grape variety notorious for its inability to fully ripen in less sunny situations, she’ll want a south-facing vineyard which enjoys an appropriate climate. If requiring a wine with heightened acidity he may source his grapes from a north facing vineyard, located at altitude. And it’s this last word that is particularly relevant to the wines of Tierra Hermosa.

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