Galicia Spain: Ribeira Sacra
We first arrived in the Galicia region of Spain in the summer of 2012.
We drove up from Northern Portugal after visiting family and different vineyards in the area.
Pedro Rodriguez of Guimaro met us at our “Casa Rurales”, a grand but quaint manor-turned-bed-and-breakfast from the 16th century.
The B-N-B is overseen by Maria who served us the best “tortilla” with the freshest eggs we’ve ever had in our lives.
That’s a story! … for another day.
When Pedro showed up, he asked if we preferred to speak in Gallego or Castellano, and, then decided for us that Gallego would be slower.
On that note, we continued; however, I’ve yet to hear anyone talk or drive that fast…ever.
Barely able to strap in our three-month-old daughter in time to catch him on the narrow dirt road, we barreled through the town of Sober.
Coming from Big Sur, we were accustomed to hair pin turns and dirt roads, but this was something else.
When we arrived at the vineyard (pictured above), we were awe-struck and speechless.
The sound of stillness is still indescribable.
As we watched Pedro step of his car, we understood intuitively that this race had been simply to return to his sacred space.
Crossing his arms, he smiled without trying to explain, trusting that we would resonate with the light and land of his prized vineyard.
“These walls were built over 2,000 years ago by my ancestors, well, the Romans, but my family has lived here forever.
For some reason not many people know about us.”
Pointing to the vines, he continued,
“The hills are so steep that even a well-trained, experienced vineyard worker can hope to plant no more than three vines in a given day.
He must build a rock wall around each vine.”
The incline on this section of his vineyard was around seventy-two degrees.
“All harvest is done by hand. It’s hard work. And I love it.”
We stood still and stared off into the vines.
He told us about Raul Perez, his mentor “the magician of the vines” as he called him and said he had an intuition in regards to the vines that was beyond human, he felt so blessed to have learned from Raul.
To do this day, through all of our vineyard travel, it is Pedro’s hillsides that still speaks to us.
After the vineyard we headed to the winery, we did some barrel tasting and tasted through several vintages.
That evening back with Maria we ordered a bottle of Guimaro.
“This is a special bottle” she told us when she brought it to the table.
We smiled, knowingly.
Mencia is a grape indigenous to the area, has the ability to age, and the aromatics and beauty of Pinot, Gamay or Syrah, but without a doubt a profile all on its own.
We aren’t sure that we understood all that was spoken that day with Pedro, but notwithstanding our deficiencies in Gallego, the marvelous passion, the excellent goodness and greatness of this best kept secret of a region spoke straight into our souls.
Now we, at Dezilu Wine Co., are excited to share that beautiful discovery with you.
Red: Mencia and Alicante Bouschet
White: Palomino, Doña Blanca, Colgadeira, Godello
The wines and why we love them:
2018 Laura Lorenzo Daterra Viticultores
“Portela do Vento” Blanco
This is a “mountain white” respectful of the indigenous varieties, made naturally from the revolutionary Laura Lorenzo.
Continue to expect great things from her!
2017 Guimaro “Camiño Real” Ribeira Sacra Tinto
Pedro Rodriguez continually strives for excellence.
At each harvest, he evolves his great wine to an even greater character, age-ability and defined expression.
2015 “Divina Clementia” Ribeira Sacra Tinto
Just over 2 acres of vines comprised of Mencía and a small amount of Alicante Bouschet, these two grape varietals land a powerful expression of Ribeira Sacra terroir.