The Sanz siblings agree that organic farming, a high proportion of old vines grown on chalk and careful harvesting at night are essential to produce vibrant and fresh wines. Fermentations are done in temperature controlled tanks under a blanket of CO2 and using only indigenous yeasts. A variety of tank sizes are at their disposal, so fermentations can be made by flavor profile and minor variations of soil. While it common in the DO to blend Sauvignon with Verdejo, Richard makes three purely Verdejo cuvées for us – each expressing a unique variation of the varietal.
Known for bold reds, crisp whites and distinctive sparkling and fortified wines, Spain has embraced international varieties and wine styles while continuing to place primary emphasis on its own native grapes. Though the country’s climate is diverse, it is generally hot and dry. In the center of the country lies a vast, arid plateau known as the Meseta Central, characterized by extremely hot summers and frequent drought.
Ribera del Duero is gaining ground with its single varietal Tempranillo wines, recognized for their concentration of fruit and opulence. Priorat, a sub-region of Catalonia, specializes in bold, full-bodied red blends of Garnacha (Grenache), Cariñena (Carignan), and often Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. Catalonia is also home to Cava, a sparkling wine made in the traditional method but from indigenous varieties. In the cool, damp northwest region of Galicia, refreshing white Albariño and Verdejo dominate.
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.