Garciarevalo Casamaro Verdejo 2016
Garciarévalo is a family-owned winery established in 1991 in the town of Matapozuelos, in the heart of the Rueda wine region in Castilla y León. The winery was founded by Jose Antonio Arévalo and Benicio Garcia, who understood they had something extraordinary in their centenary vineyards of indigenous verdejo, which had always been famous for giving the best grapes in the Rueda appellation.
The current generation is a young, vibrant team led by Antonio and Manuela Arévalo; Rodrigo Arévalo is in charge of viticulture and vineyard management and Reyes Martínez Sagarra is the oenologist and winemaker. Garciarevalo is truly a tight-knit, family winery producing some of the most vibrant white wines in Spain while breathing economic life into their small village of one thousand inhabitants. Antonio Arévalo originally studied economics, as his parents encouraged him to work in anything other than rural agriculture. Yet, like his parents, he too felt the deep commitment to his family village and connection to the historic vineyards, joining the family winery in 1995.
Garciarévalo specializes in old-vine verdejo, with minor plantings of viura. Their estate vineyards consist primarily of vines of over 100 years old, including a plot of pre-phylloxera verdejo vines over 130 years old, all planted in the traditional bush-vine system. The soil here is extremely sandy and low in organic material, allowing for excellent drainage and a greater difference between day and night temperatures due to sand’s quality of quickly releasing heat at night. These factors allow their wines to be ripe, yet incredibly fresh, with exceptional acidity for the warm Rueda region. It has also aided them in their conversion to completely organic viticulture, for which they will be certified in 2020. As one depends on the other, their organic farming has enabled them to encourage their native yeast colonies in the vineyard, with the goal of adding complexity to their fermentations.
Another factor in the high quality of Garciarévalo wines is the superior clonal diversity found in their old bush-trained vines. The leaves on the old clones are much smaller, and the bunches are tighter and more compact with a distinctly darker green color than what is found in modern clones. This is the old, pre-industrial verdejo with thicker skins, which yields wines of character and quality. They only use these ancestral clones when replanting new vineyards. Garciarévalo continues to improve with each vintage and leads the Rueda region in a fresh, qualitative direction.
Rueda is located along the banks of the Duero River in Spain’s Castilla y León region, just a 2-hour drive north of Madrid. While winemaking in this area goes back to the 12th century, it was in the 1980s that the region was granted Denominación de Origen (D.O.) status. Today, more than 70 wineries call Rueda home. This national favorite is the top-selling white wine in Spain.
Notable facts Rueda’s main grape variety, Verdejo, gets it distinct complexity from stressful growing conditions and mineral-rich soil. Think of Verdejo as a fuller-bodied and more aromatic Sauvignon Blanc. A lush and smooth character with perfectly balanced acidity means Rueda wines pair well with seafood, fresh salads and spicy food, but are also great on their own.
Captivating and full of character, Verdejo grows with great success in Rueda, Spain and virtually nowhere else in Europe. It has become so trendy in Spain since the turn of the century that plantings have also increased tremendously. Somm Secret—Contrary to what some may think, it is actually not related to the Portugese variety with a very similar name, Verdelho. In fact, DNA profiling suggests it may be a sibling of Godello, another native of NW Spain.