Flowers among the vines
The Conde de los Andes vineyard hosts a rich floral parade
The vineyards form a mosaic in a valley at the foot of Mount Toloño. Facing mainly southwards, the vegetation in these mountainous areas has adapted perfectly to the arid summers. In the narrow rugged strips dividing the plots and, naturally, on the mountain slopes, Mediterranean shrubs abound: the robust kermes oak, thyme and rosemary with hard, ligneous trunks, the always spiny gorse...
Alongside these species, plants such as evergreen roses, white violets and the striking grey-leaved cistus, with its tightly packed leaves and paper-thin purple flowers, are in bloom between June and July.
Evergreen rose bush (Rosa sempervirens)
It is a bushy shrub with climbing stems that can reach upwards of six metres. The glossy, jagged leaves are almost as recognisable as its white flowers. Wild roses attract the beneficial bees that contribute to the pollination of the vine. When in bloom, they form a visually pleasing contrast to the green mass of the vineyard. In the vineyard valleys of Briñas they are abundant in dry soils and in certain headlands in higher areas.
White violet (Viola alba, Viola sylvestris)
Perennial herb with solitary flowers on long, slender stems. It is a most diverse and variable species; even in a small area white violets with different types of flowers can be found. We love to find them among the vines and, above all, lining the fringes of the plots: despite their fragility, they seem to want to protect and shelter the vineyard.
Grey-leaved cistus (Cistus albidus)
Don't be fooled by the name: the grey-leaved cistus has pink, light purple flowers. The rest of the cistus species have white flowers. The cistus albidus is a sort of botanical witness to the Mediterranean character of these mountains in this elevated part of Rioja, where northern, Atlantic and continental influences come together.
The tough, drought-resistant leaves contrast with the delicate texture of the petals. The grey-leaved cistus flowers are very striking and their presence, set against the dark green vines and light soils, signals the onset of summer.
The surroundings of the vineyards of Briñas. Vineyard plots border the rugged, wooded hillside."
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