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.
Primarily found in the Bierzo, Ribeira Sacra and Valdeorras regions of Spain and in the Dão of Portugal (where it is called Jaen), Mencia is an early ripening, low acid grape that can produce wines of great concentration, complexity and ageability. And yet Mencia once suffered from a poor reputation and deemed capable of producing simple and light red wines. Post-phylloxera growers would grow this variety on low, fertile plains, which produced high yields and uncomplicated finished wines. Somm Secret—The recent rediscovery of the ancient, abandoned vines planted on rugged hillsides of deep schist has unveiled the potential of Mencia and added discredit to its old reputation.