The Pazo San Mauro boutique Estate is one of the oldest wineries registered in Spain and is located in Galicia, north-west Spain, in Porto-Salvatierra
de Miño, overlooking the Río Miño which
forms the border between Spain and Portugal. They are situated in a privileged location in the
most southerly and mountainous subzone, Condado de Tea, within
DO Rías Baixas, in the province of Pontevedra.
A winding road leads to the winery which is surrounded by an
almost hermetic forest of Atlantic pines. The land has a biosphere reserve and the rarest ecosystem in Spain, with waterfalls, river islands, wet lands together with bio indicators of health such as river pearls and Iberian wolves. The Atlantic environment
of this area is the natural habitat of the Albariño,
practically the only conditions in which it may be grown.
In addition to the mild temperatures resulting from the proximity
of the ocean, there is abundant rainfall interspersed with
sunny spells, which ensures that the maximum potential
is achieved by the vines.
Perched on the hilltop in a dominant position are the 16th century buildings of the Pazo and the Chapel, built in 1582, which face the striking Portuguese tower, Lapela, on the other side of the Miño. Their spectacular vineyards of granite slate soils rise up on wide terraces from
the Río Miño to form a large natural south-facing
amphitheatre enjoying an exceptional microclimate in this
most southern and sunniest area of DO Rias Baixas. This promotes early ripening of grapes with a complex structure that retains their maximum acidity. The high summer temperatures reached in the Pazo San Mauro vineyards enable harvesting to be carried out 15/20 days before other areas of DO Rías Baixas and guarantee the required degree of alcohol - the minimum for the Albariño grape is 12°C, and 11.5°C for other varieties.
As a consequence of the high rainfall and considerable humidity, vines are trained on tall wire trellises anchored by granite or concrete posts, with grapes growing several feet off the ground, high enough for vineyard workers to stand upright beneath the clusters. This allows for air circulation that combats the effects of humidity-related diseases such as mildew. The leaf canopy also protects from over-exposure to the sun, a practical expedient because Galician summers historically can be surprisingly hot. The winery also works with Treixadura, Loureira and Torrontes grapes, but the true queen of the vineyard is the Albariño. The winery is equipped with a pneumatic press, stainless steel tanks and a cooling system to stabilize the wine in isothermic tanks.
The 2018 growing season was far more typical in Rías Baixas featuring more rain and moderate summer temperatures. Above average rain and low temperatures in the spring led to fears that volumes would be down but settled sunny and drier weather in August and September ensured the key ripening period was positive and grape quality was generally very good. The harvest started in early September and the overall volume figure for the region was slightly below last year.
Click on the underlined grape varieties
for more information.