My first vineyard: year 1979. The vineyard of Carballo Cobo.
The abandonment, forgotten vineyards on stone structures that men in
the past arranged with his hands to build terraces that could resist
the passage of time, on the banks of the River Sil, forming a unique
and magical landscape that catches me, as well as our ancestors.
Impressed by the vines, challenging the slope, maintaining the balance,
working with the wind, the rain, the sun, the moon, the stars, on a mattress
of slate, they can produce concentrated clusters of grapes, which transformed
into wine gave birth to our first Algueira, an enormous emotion that motivates
me to continue climbing the mountain, planting and recovering the old
vineyard covered by the forest, fueled by the landscape.
In the year 2000, as a result of these experiences, our first aged wine was born.
In this scarce productive and spectacular plot, it wouldn't make any sense
to elaborate a young wine, which at that time it was what the region was
producing, believing this area could not make great aged long-lasting wines.
This is how PIZARRA and CARRAVEL were born.
WHY NOT TO DO A WHITE?
In the past, our area, Doade, was very much valued for its red wines, powerful and thick, but also for its whites. In the vineyard of Carballo Cobo, we also planted Godello, a variety that in mineral and sunny soils, with a shortage of water, produces structured and complex musts really appropriate in order to create a gastronomic white. The result is our first Godello wine aged on lees, grown at the ESCALADA vineyard.
Driven by the good results, we decided to invest forward on white varieties. The challenge now was to create a fruity young white. That's when I decided to cross the river, fleeing from the south orientation, and buy new land in La Abeleda (Ourense). Ribeira Sacra hardly produced white wines by then and this area with a cool and mild climate, oriented to the southwest, seemed to have a huge potential.
We acquired the Cortezada plot, bordering the Edo river, but at that moment it was abandoned and fully covered with wild forest. Once we cleaned and recovered the terraces, we discovered a true architectural jewel. This is a vineyard with 20,000 m2 and the ground is the base of the stone rubble of the Castro Caldelas: Pizarra and Gneis conglomerate with hardly any dirt on the surface. We planted at this plot what we thought it was the three varieties we intuited could make a complex wine: Godello (structure), Treixadura (freshness) and Albariño (acidity). This is how it was born after several years of work. CORTEZADA: Mineral, structured, complex. Plot wine, intense, elegant.
WHY ONLY MENCÍA?
In an old vineyard we discovered different grapes that, once we could identified them, they told us that it was Godello Tinto or Carnaz. It was enough to make 100 bottles, a wine with very little color, silky, elegant, very different. We loved it. We decided to contribute and plant more. It was not the wine that we would normally elaborate in this region, rather the opposite (it has no color) and that was a problem, not a virtue. Break the established: tannic wines with low layer. This is how our MERENZAO (RISCO) was born.
At the same time and in the same vineyard we found a late ripening grape. Very loose and small grain of little color and clusters of little volume that also had marginalized it, in exchange for the Alicante Bouchet. We made a small plantation and after several tests the result arrived in 2009, and we were also captivated. It was our first ALVARELLO / BRANCELLAO (SERRADELO). We made 500 bottles in that year. From then on we decided to plant it each year at different altitudes and orientations.
Why not bet on grape varieties with anthocyanins and tannins with an Atlantic profile. In La Abeleda we acquired a vineyard in the mountain that we thought was suitable for its orientation and altitude to plant the Sousón and Caíño varieties in 2ha of abandoned land on a steep slope; quartz, gneiss and slate soil and very ventilated. The result was our first FINCAS, that when we got enough production we separated the two varieties to create CASTAGAIA (SOUSÓN) and AMARAL (CAÍÑO).
Why not make another white with the grapes from the new plantation (year 2009) of Godello and Treixadura. ANADELIA was born, a tribute to Ana, my wife, well deserved for her help from the first moment to this project, always supporting all my initiatives, often misunderstood.
Why not a Garnacha Tintorera? From the beginning we were acquiring ancient vineyards, very old, which had an interesting diversity of varieties, such as Mencía, Alicante Bouchet, Garnacha and Jerez. In the year 2010 we selected Garnacha and vinified it separately, in wooden fudres, making a barrel aging that surprised us and encouraged us to plant more on slate soil. This is how our MADIALEVA was born, and with the new planting, our ROSALÍO rosé.