The influence of Marisol Bueno and Javier Mareque on the founding and development of the DO Rías-Baixas and its primary […]Keep Reading
The influence of Marisol Bueno and Javier Mareque on the founding and development of the DO Rías-Baixas and its primary variety Albariño can be traced back to their purchase in 1979 of an ancient 16th-century country estate, its kiwi orchards, and old-vine Albariño vineyards. Located in the town of Meis, within the sub-zone of Val do Salnes, Pazo Señorans lies close to the sea on acidic, sandy soils created by the natural decomposition of the granitic bedrock below. Early on, they recognized the potential of Albariño and were instrumental in creating the DO just a decade after they arrived in Meis.
Historically, geographically, and culturally, Galicia is a fascinating part of Spain quite distinct from the rest of the Peninsula. Widely known as Green Spain, the climate is moderate and can be surprisingly cool in the summer due to the region’s embrace of the chilly Atlantic Ocean. Located at the famed El Camino’s terminus, the area has always been relatively cosmopolitan, affluent, and independent. It has never been conquered nor occupied, so neither religious strife nor feudalism gained a foothold here. And, most of the land has historically been owned and controlled by the local inhabitants, who have turned the landscape into a network of small farms, cottages, and tiny villages surrounding the coast’s bustling port cities.
Pazo Señorans is somewhat an exception in this history. There is a complete manor house with a wide array of outbuildings, including a chapel and the largest surviving hórreo (the distinct, elevated barn typical to Galicia) in the DO. A testament to the turbulence of having a noble title in a land of fiercely independent farmers, the estate preserves an ancient “panic room” to which the family could retreat during turbulent times. Near the panic room is the original winery on the property consisting of a stone lagar and stone fermentation tank dating to the estate’s founding. Surrounding the Pazo are 18.5 hectares of vines, but the estate purchases fruit from their neighbors as well, which is fairly typical in Rias-Baixas with its myriad of minuscule garden-like vineyards.
Mostly grown on pergolas, their Albariño is hand-harvested into small crates in September and quickly transported to the winery to be crushed and pressed. Each parcel is vinified separately in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks. To retain the bright primary fruit character of their Albariño, malolactic fermentation is blocked, and the wine is allowed to age on its lees for at least four months with regular bâtonnage. Bottled early each year following the harvest, this is an example of the fresh, crisp, and vibrant style that has defined Rias-Baixas. One vineyard site, Los Bancales, planted with some of the oldest vines on the estate, now over 45 years old, is kept in tank on its lees for a full 30 months. Aged in bottle for at least an additional year, it is released under the name Selección de Añada. Originally an experimental cuvée for the family to enjoy and prove the age-worthiness of Albariño, it has become a benchmark wine in the DO.Close