The traditional food match is seafood, especially the local Galician shellfish specialties like scallops, mussels, clams, lobster, crab and oysters. In fact, the scallop shell is the longtime symbol of Galicia and the ancient Camino de Santiago pilgrimage. Pilgrams walking the journey would bring back Galician scallop shells as proof that they completed the journey to the "end of the world" which at that time was the western coast of Spain.
Founded in 1879, Vinos Guerra is the oldest winery in the Bierzo region and one of the most historic wineries in Spain. The founder Don Antonio Guerra was a pioneer in many ways. He was one of the first producers to bottle method champanois wines in Spain. In addition to wine, Don Antonio also produced a variety of spirits from Agua Ardiente to Vermouth and Anisettes. Today, the Guerra winery farms one-third of all the vineyards in the Bierzo region.
One of the few northwestern Spanish regions with a focus on a red variety, Bierzo, part of Castilla y León, is home to the flowery and fruity Mencia grape. Mencia produces balanced and bright red wines full of strawberry, raspberry, pomegranate, baking spice, pepper and black licorice. The well-drained soils of Bierzo are slate and granite.
With hundreds of white grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended white wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used in white wine blends, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a soft and full-bodied white wine blend, like Chardonnay, would do well combined with one that is more fragrant and naturally high in acidity. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.