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Some wines from Castro Ventosa

Show all 7 wines

Appellations Castro Ventosa

Definition Castro Ventosa

Castro Ventosa is one of El Bierzo's oldest estates.

It is the family estate of the famous oenologist Raul Pérez.

Its wines are superb from the entry level to the top cuvée Valtuille. The very best of the Mencia grape.

History Castro Ventosa

The earliest mention of the estate in the archives, for the sale of vines, dates back to 1752!

But like in many regions of Spain, most of the production has long been sent to the local cooperative. Only in the 90’s, the estate began to make and bottle its wines itself.

The younger generation played a major role in this evolution.

The whole Pérez family works at the estate, but the man who made it famous is oenologist Raúl Pérez.

He is the one who re-established the reputation of the local grape Mencía; not only for Castro Ventosa, but for the whole DO Bierzo.

A few years ago, he came back to work on the estate, but he still makes his own wines in other DO’s. Raúl has become one of Spain most reputed winemakers and his wines are cult.

With the help of the rest of the family, he put Castro Ventosa back on the right track.

Varieties

The region’s epitomic grape is Mencía. With Descendientes de J.Palacios, Castro Ventosa was pivotal in the rehabilitation of this variety. In the 90’s, Bierzo was full of Tempranillo, Cabernet etc. But these two estates were dedicated to Mencía … and to make great wines out of it.

Mencía gives very good results indeed, provided the yield is kept rather low and it is harvested at optimal maturity. If too early, the wine can be green. Hence the connection made with Cabernet Franc; but scientists have proved that the two grapes are not related genetically.

If it is picked too late, on the other hand, the acidity gets too low. As Mencía has not got much natural acidity, to reach the right balance the work in the vines needs fine-tuning.

Castro Ventosa has around 60 hectares of Mencía – only old vines between 30 and 60 years old. The other varieties on the estate are only anecdotic.

All the vines are farmed organically.

Terroir

Castro Ventosa is located in Valtuille de Abajo, a small village in the lower part of DO El Bierzo; its soils are mainly clay and sands.

El Bierzo has a milder microclimate than the neighbouring areas of Leon and Galicia – especially the lower part.

The name of the estate (Castro) dates from the Roman times. It relates to a small hill at the foot of the village, overlooking the plain around.

The winery itself has been dug into this hill, and most of the vines are also planted on its flanks.

The names of the wines refer to this.

Their top wine, the “Valtuille”, comes from 10 different blocks of sandy and very poor soils, some of which have a layer of clay underneath.

The vines which make the “Castro de Valtuille”, on the other hand, grow on clay and sands, partially stony.

The Castro de Valtuille Joven, comes from clay and silt soils.

In this kind of old vineyards, the density of plantations is around 4,000 to 5,000 plants per hectare.

Winemaking

Harvesting is done by hand; the grapes are put in small baskets. Winemaking is very traditional, Castro Ventosa applies old proven techniques.

For the Valtuille: open 500 litre barrels; all grapes keep their stalks. Daily stomping during 35 to 40 days.

Castro de Valtuille: 3,500 litre vats; 30% of the grapes keep their stalks. Daily stomping during 35 to 40 days.

Castro de Valtuille Joven: classic fermentation in stainless steel tanks.

Castro Ventosa - Spanish wines
Castro Ventosa - Spanish wines
Castro Ventosa - Spanish wines
Castro Ventosa - Spanish wines
Castro Ventosa - Spanish wines
Castro Ventosa - Spanish wines

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