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HISTORY

In the border where Salvatierra and Feria meet, ancient documentary sources identify a location exempt from communal use, el pago de Don Blasco. It is an area that, as the old documents say, “the neighbours have been exploiting since time immemorial”, so we conclude that these lands began to repopulate from the late Middle Ages, when the land closest to the town were given to the neighbours, and the arrival of new settlers, demanded new division of the land in distant areas that, like this land, we know have been inhabited since pre-historic times due to the discovery of stone tools such as axes.

 

The hamlet of Don Blasco, like others from the Manor of Feria with the same origin, (Don Febrero, Los Cuerllos or Aldea de Caballeros), were losing inhabitants due to various circumstances and became depopulated, while other ones (Solana or Santa Marta), consolidated and became the current urban centres of Tierra de Barros.

 

El Pago de Don Blasco had an economic importance in the Manor of Feria because it was an area where people undertook dry farming (rainfed agriculture) together with the cultivation of olive trees. Of all the agricultural activities, without a doubt, the vineyard was the most important. The vineyard occupied the majority of the land of Pago de Don Blasco to meet the demand of a large population that had there their farm, their winery, and their homes. In fact, Tomás López, at the end of the eighteenth century, states that “the land of Pago de Don Blasco is planted with vineyards, wineries, and olive groves, where there are some hamlets”. A few years before, in the interrogation of the Royal Academy of Extremadura, we are informed that in Pago de Don Blasco, there are 40 wineries with little capacity, owned by the neighbours of Feria and other foreigners, that produced a total capacity of 500 arrobas (one arroba being a measure of 16 litres). In the middle of the 19th century, Pasqual Madoz, when speaking about Don Blasco, calls it the “Don Blasco Winery” and says that “it has 36 houses that serve to store the wine produced in the surrounding wineries”.

The documentation informs us that some of these wineries were built underground suggesting that, possibly, their owners were settlers from the north where these caves are common and typical practice. The population of Don Blasco must have been important as they had two oratories where some Mudejar features can be found in the buildings, which attests to the presence of Moors among the population.

The ancient documents also provide some details about the wines produced in Don Blasco. Solano de Figueroa appreciates the wines saying “it is not only good, but it is also generous” and it abounds in the description of the underground cellars: “some cellars that serve with great comfort to the conservation of the fruits produced”. It is evident that these underground cellars had the purpose of preserving the wines from the heat of the summer.

It is precisely in one of these oratories, mentioned earlier, where the production of wine continues. This is the Domblasco Winery, that now, following careful architectural restoration, and the necessary technological updates, produces wines rooted in the deepest tradition of centuries in Pago de Don Blasco. A tradition that, while maintaining the production of the red wines embodying strength and wrapped in an exquisite palate, recovers a way of making wine such that it is felt as the essence of the land with a defined personality in the world of winemaking.

The current owner of the Domblasco winery, León Martinez de Azcona de la Concha, has recovered 4 hectares of limestone land, located at the foot of mountains (average altitude of 600 metres), maintaining the typical varieties of the area, common Grenache (Garnacha), Alicante Bouschet (Garnacha Tintorera) and adding a proportion of Petit Verdot. In Domblasco, we work with the hope and excitement of recovering the prestige of a wine with its own personality, that already stood out at the beginning of the last century as one of the best red wines of Extremadura (J.A. Calero Carretero. XXXVI Jornadas de Viticultura y Enología, TIERRA DE BARROS. 2014. Edit.: Centro Universitario Santa Ana).