Jorge Ordóñez first traveled to Rias Baixas in the late 1980’s, before...
Jorge Ordóñez first traveled to Rias Baixas in the late 1980’s, before the D.O. was officially founded. Searching for new and unheralded regions and producers to represent in the United States, he discovered a region with a rich viticultural history. The most intriguing grape he found was Albariño, a grape typically planted in family’s backyards on granite pergolas that produced extremely small berries. He learned that this variety had been planted in Rias Baixas for centuries, but was all but forgotten and barely replanted after the phylloxera.
His fondest memory of this first trip was having lunch at a local shellfish restaurant, when the owner brought him an unlabeled bottle to try. The wine was beautifully marine, saline, and acid – complemented by rich, ripe, and round flavors of rich citrus and stone fruit. The wine had spent two years ageing sur lie in 1000L chestnut foudres prior to bottling. Apparently, it had come from a small backyard family vineyard of Albariño. This was the traditional style of wine produced in the region before the commercialization of the D.O.
Beginning in the early 1990’s, Jorge became the first exporter of Albariño from Rias Baixasto the world, introducing not only the United States, but Spain (where the grape was mostly unknown) what is now considered by many to be the country’s finest white grape. Bodegas La Caña was founded in 2007 with the goal of continuing the region’s tradition of producing serious wine. La Caña champions the old, traditional style of Albariño.
La Cana Navia 2015Albarino from Rias Baixas, Spain