Joaquín Rebolledo is a small family-run winery situated in A Rua, Valdeorras, in the north-western region of the province of Ourense. This natural gateway into Galicia is shaped by a deep and fertile valley through which the River Sil flows. Many of DO Valdeorras' native Godello and Mencia vineyards are planted at altitude in soil strewn with slate, and it is this poor quality soil, lacking in nutrients, that brings about a certain desirable mineral quality to the wines that are made here. The vines consequently have to dig deep in search of food and water and this struggle for survival results in the best quality grapes. It is an added element to the wonderfully fruit-driven, dry, rich white wines that are now starting to receive the recognition they deserve. Four generations of the Rebolledo family have dedicated themselves to the cultivation of vines and they now own an area of 40 hectares of immaculately maintained, low-yielding native Godello and Mencia grown in soils of slate, granite, chalk and clay, and it is not unusual to come across chestnut and olive trees among the vines. Nearly thirty years ago, the Rebolledo family were pioneers in the recovery of the Godello grape, so it is thanks to the instinct of Joaquin Rebolledo, who took a gamble, and decided to only plant their indigenous Godello and Mencia. The story told is that back in the 1970s Joaquin Rebolledo’s neighbours used to call him 'el loco' 'the madman' because he replanted his family vineyards with autochtonous Galician varieties like Godello which nobody had ever heard of and were unique in the whole world! The vineyard plots are quite spectacular, each fondly named, Fontei, Freixido, Trasdeirelas, Pedrazais, A Veiquina, O Redondo and San Roque and are scattered along the valley sides of the River Sil, at altitudes of 400-700m, where temperatures can vary between day and night by as much as 20 degrees. As a result, the winery today has 30 year old Godello vineyards with Joaquin Rebolledo Godello becoming the first Galician wine to win the Zarcillo de Oro in 1993, a stunning achievement which created a legend in Valdeorras. This has been followed by a string of awards from Decanter, Robert Parker and Peñin Guide where it achieved 93 points in 2013. The potency of this variety as well as the uniqueness of the Valdeorras soil, has attracted the most prestigious Spanish winemakers to produce wines there. Mencia is the red wine variety par excellence in the entire north-eastern peninsula. The selection of barrels, French, American and Caucasian oak is sufficiently complex to make the wines of Joaquin Rebolledo especially distinctive. With ideal conditions of humidity and temperature, the Mencia acquires a remarkable and unique character. Joaquin Rebolledo’s wines are pure expressions of their Galician terroir. Catalina Maroto, who has been Joaquin Rebolledo’s winemaker since the 2000 vintage, assisted by winemaker Alvaro Bueno, is a firm believer that 'good wines begin in the vineyard and are perfected in the cellar', and in the potential for Galicia’s grapes and how each is expressed differently depending on the terroir.
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