Surely you have ever tasted a “Pago” wine, from a farm with special characteristics and a particular microclimate, made with differentiated grapes, and with a different quality from the rest of the area.
Well, the same thing happens with the “TANCAT” RICE in the Albufera lake. This marvelous natural area is home to around 15,000 hectares of rice fields, of which only a small part – adjacent to the Albufera lake – is made up of “tancats”.
On a small scale, they are like “polders” in Holland, the land taken from the sea. In the case of the “tancats”, reclaimed from the Albufera lake. The writer Blasco Ibáñez explaines the process in some of his novels such as “Arroz y Tartana”, “Cañas y Barro”… how these lands were gained from the “lluent” (or lagoon).
The process would be: first, they would create the perimeter, and then they would dried it up with the steam engine. And where necessary, soil would be added.
It was an environmentally friendly method of gaining ground from the lake, because during Winter time, with the Perellonà (or winter flood) the Albufera still recovers its size. And it also works to clean the rice fields of all kinds of weeds, weed seeds, fungi, etc… obtaining more natural rice.
These rice fields that once were parto f the lagoon,¡ enjoy a direct and controlled volume of water, different from the rest of the marsh; an ideal “breeding ground” for improving the quality of rice, together with special microclimates, being deep areas with a temperature and properties of the soil, also different from other rice fields.
Arroz Tartana grows its rice in “tancats” around the Island of El Palmar like the one in l’Estell, obtaining unique varieties, without any type of mix with other rice in neighboring areas, with an enviable quality.
Article written by Juan Carlos GALBIS -Master of rice masters-, José ZAFRA, -passionate about rice- y Juan Valero -Gerente de ARROZ TARTANA-.