Spanish Research Center IMIDRA Amasses One of World’s Largest Wine Grape Collections
At the moment, there are around 230 wine varieties recognized in Spain; however, there are many varieties that seem to have disappeared, and IMIDRA, a true pioneer, has been working to rescue as many as possible.
Spanish research center IMIDRA today has one of the world’s most extensive collections of grape varieties. At the moment, there are around 230 wine varieties recognized in Spain; however, there are many varieties that seem to have disappeared, and IMIDRA, a true pioneer, has been working to rescue as many as possible.
Nationally, they have led in three major projects, one of them in 2011, when they started working to recover minority varieties in the Madrid region. They found many types of vines that were “lost” but then found again in other locations, in the same region and also in other ones.
Broadly speaking, there are many different grapes that have been reintroduced thanks to their research. This includes Moscatel de Grano Menudo in Madrid, Maturana Blanca in Rioja, Gorgollasa in the Balearic Islands, and Tintilla de Rota in Andalusia.
IMIDRA is also working on projects to recover vine varieties outside Spain, especially in Europe, and is collaborating with both winemakers and scientists in Austria, Germany, Greece, Italy, France, Portugal, and Croatia. Projects are also getting underway in Latin America, specifically in Argentina, Peru, Chile and Mexico, to study the local varieties there.
On today’s wine scene, there are leading wine critics who are speaking very highly of the “explosion of Spanish varietals,” according to Félix Cabello, head of agri-food research at IMIDRA. Moreover, they’re including those wines in their rankings and increasing their visibility.