We caught wind of a new project, Salt of the Earth, brewing in Rias-Baixas about a few years ago from […]Keep Reading
We caught wind of a new project, Salt of the Earth, brewing in Rias-Baixas about a few years ago from our friend and colleague Ben Henshaw in the UK. Ben is the proprietor of Indigo Wines UK and has been creating his own line of custom cuvées from growers he represents from all around the world. For his project in Rias-Baixas, he teamed up with Eulogio Pomares, side hustling from his day job at Zárate, Jamie Goode, wine writer, wine scientist, and wine critic, and Daniel Primack, the importer and distributor of Zalto wine glasses in the UK. A lineup of talent and experience that is nearly as impressive on paper as around a cellar or dinner table. We agreed to buy what Salt of the Earth we could get even before tasting it. Six months later, over lunch in Madrid with José Maria Vicente, we were astounded at how satisfyingly complex and pleasurable this wine was. We even helped secure José Maria an allocation!
Sal da Terra is comprised of wine from two of Eulogio’s own parcels. The first, Francón, is immediately adjacent to the Ría de Arousa, which gives it direct Atlantic influence. The soils are sandy granite and red clay with 35-year-old vines trained on pergolas. This parcel is aged in concrete. The second site is named Carballoso, which is located further inland at an elevation of 250m. The soils here are granitic and ferrous sands. Carballoso is aged in a chestnut foudre. Together, they create one of the most complete examples of Albariño we’ve tasted in a long time.
Rather than make this project a one-off, the same team worked with Theresa Breuer of the famed Rheingau estate, Weingut Georg Breuer, to create Salz der Erde in 2021. Like Sal da Terra, Salz der Erde is a selection of fruit from two sites with differing terroirs. It comes from two vineyards in Lorsch. Sixty percent is from an elevated site in the quartzite-rich slate soils of Kapellenberg and is vinified in stainless steel. This provides a mineral, stony, and salty structure to the wine. Forty percent is from Krone, a warmer site with pure slate soils. Krone is vinified in an oak fuder. Salz der Erde is a counterintuitive example of a German Riesling that isn’t about a specific vineyard, dirt, or proximity to a sundial but how two sites can complement one another to make something greater than its individual parts.
The latest iteration from the Salt of the Earth team comes from a variety we know well at European Cellars, Chenin Blanc. If the name Soutbosch doesn’t sound very French, it’s because we pretty much have French Chenin wrapped up with Jon-Davids’s amazing portfolio of Loire Valley Chenin. Soutbosch is from a single, dry-farmed old vineyard near False Bay and beneath the Helderberg Mountain. The wine is made by the rising star of South Africa, Bernhard Bredell of Scions of Sinai. Bernhard Bredell grew up on his family farm in the Lower Helderberg, southeast of Stellenbosch, where his family have been farming grapes for seven generations. He set up Scions of Sinai in 2016 after studying enology, viticulture, and soil sciences at the University of Stellenbosch and working at vineyards in France and Spain. The name reflects this commitment to both land and family: a scion having the dual meaning of a young vine shoot and a generational descendant. was incredibly excited by the site’s potential and suggested it could work as a collaborative project. When Bernhard shared his excitement about discovering this parcel of Chenin Blanc, well, it seemed like the ideal candidate for the Afrikaans edition of Salt of the Earth.Close