Tuferas in La Rioja
The Tufera is generally known in the wine world as hole opened in the roof of the wineries or traditional cellars with a single purpose: the stench should leave by that hole. In many cases that hole was and is protected by a kind of chimney upward to allow better ventilation and let out this deadly gas.
The Stench or Tufo, in case anyone does not know what we mean, it is a the gas produced by fermentation triggering yeast and the wort sugars, alcohol and from becoming of wort to wine. The stench more scientifically say that is composed of carbon dioxide.
The word tufera in the La Rioja is also considered as the fan, it was normal hand drive it ultimately had the same utility, facilitating the exit of stench or tufo through the opening in the ceiling.
Once we know the function and the stench tufera, we can better understand because the landscape of La Rioja and in particular of the wine villages is bathed in many areas small and large fireplaces mostly freestone, although other materials also exist.
these walk the little hills constructions of the towns where they attend before and now neighborhoods of wineries or traditional cellars. Drafts or traditional wineries as already discussed in another post, are the caves dug into the rock of the hill so we see coronas las tuferas dichos montes de la zona.
these cellars needed a solution to get the stench from within, as in many cases death occurred of those who inhaled. That’s why they invented tuferas. The first tuferas from the century XIX. Moreover the cellars many encrypted in the Middle Ages, century XV y XVI.
A anecdote the stench is that many winemakers Lacking the tufera or even with her, descended the steps which gave access to the draft or winery with a small candle. If this is turned off, had to leave at full speed because it meant there was no oxygen. This is the problem that causes the smell, the lack of oxygen.
Mi Propia Bodega expected to rehabilitate an openwork with tuferas tufera or as some drafts had more than one tufera.