About Benito Santos:
Benito Santos is a central figure in the modern history of Albariño
and the Rías Baixas D.O. He began working in his grandfather’s
vineyards in the 1930s and made wine for serving in his bar – wines
that repeatedly won prizes in the annual Fiesta de Albariño in
Cambados. He was instrumental in the creation of the Rías Baixas D.O.
in the 1980s.
San Franciscan Todd Blomberg worked with Benito Santos and took over
after the latter’s death. Todd now farms three vineyards in the Val do
Salnés subzone of Rías Baixas, each of which is next to and named
after an ancient church: Saiar, Bemil, and Xoan.
Todd bottles each of the three vineyards separately in order to
preserve the distinctive terruños of each. Benito Santos is among the few producers
in the D.O. who’s making, real, unconfected wines - wines that taste
like Albariño and express their terroir. As Albariño has become
fashionable, many producers have taken the path of making highly
commercial, heavily manipulated wines. In particular, many producers
use specific yeasts to get more tropical, fruity aromas and flavors. Benito Santos wines are
salty, mineral, and structured. All of the vineyards are now certified organic – a rarity in rainy, mildew-prone Rías Baixas – and winemaking uses only native yeasts and minimal sulfur.