Emperador grows the most modern vineyard in Spain

World-renowned Emperador Brandy will soon be produced on the most modern vineyard in Spain, also considered the largest vineyard in Europe dedicated to brandy production. According to Universidad Politécnica de Madrid professor José Ramón Lissarrague, who has over three decades of agricultural engineering expertise, the vineyard employs the most advanced technology in Spain.

“With its modern and technologically advanced design, Emperador’s vineyard in Toledo is expected to yield approximately 30,000 kilos of grapes per hectare. This is equivalent to five times the average yield of a typical Spanish vineyard,” said Lissarrague. The professor is part of a team tapped to develop the best implementation strategies for the vineyard. He has worked for many years with González Byass, one of the largest sherry, wine and brandy producers in Spain.

Unlike traditional Spanish vineyards, Emperador’s Toledo vineyard features state-of-the-art technology called Precision Viticulture, which is focused on promoting the high production of grapes while reducing production cost per kilogram.

Precision Viticulture analyzes the sides of the plots and the length of the rows in the vineyard. The orientation of the rows and the distance between vines and rows have both been specifically designed and implemented using Global Positioning System, or GPS. This is to help reduce the investment cost while taking advantage of the terrain, making the cultivation more cost-efficient. A highly mechanized pruning method is likewise utilized, with strict adherence to a specific vine length.

“With Precision Viticulture, everything is considered—including when to turn off machinery in order to save on production costs,” said Jorge B. Domecq, managing director of Grupo Emperador Spain, S.A.
Economies of scale are essential to Precision Viticulture, which means large quantities of land and water are required. Emperador’s vineyard is approximately 500 hectares in size.

The water necessary to the vineyard is amply supplied by the Tajo River, the longest river in the Iberian Peninsula stretching across Spain all the way to Portugal.

The vineyard uses a specially designed automated irrigation and monitoring system. Advanced sensors are spread throughout the vineyard, which constantly monitor the state of the soil, atmosphere and agricultural crops.

Continuous monitoring allows important decisions to be made regarding irrigation and fertilization. Irrigation, filtration of the water and fertilization are automated, and can be controlled remotely from any place in the world using information technology.

During harvest season, the design of the rows once again allow for increased efficiency, as these have been adapted for mechanical harvest procedures.

Aside from advanced technology, location plays a vital part in the success of the vineyard. Toledo, the medieval capital of Spain, is located in La Mancha, the biggest wine-producing region in the world. Its weather conditions are ideal, with the hot and dry climate helping ensure p

According to Domecq: “Emperador’s vineyard in Toledo is superior to other vineyards in La Mancha because its location does not experience frost during spring time. Frost could seriously affect the harvest.”

With the most modern vineyard in Spain, Emperador expects to generate a 500 percent higher yield than average Spanish vineyards.

Since 2013, Emperador has acquired over a thousand hectares of prime vineyard land in Spain.

Emperador is part of the Alliance Global Group of Companies, a major global conglomerate engaged in real estate development, tourism entertainment and gaming, food and beverage, and quick service restaurants.