A Chaira 2017 — Doña Branca
A Wine That
tastes as if an apple fell off a tree into fermenting grape juice, together with a dash of honey, a sprinkle of dried wildflowers and a pinch of Himalayan rock salt. It’d be pretty cool if that did happen, but what’s even more cool is that a vineyard in Spain can create all of these components on its own. It’s a wine that reminds us why we’re so fascinated by skin-contact wines: this is exemplary of what a little touch of skin can add to a rare Spanish grape variety, Doña Branca.
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- Delivery: Delivery and gift wrapping options available at checkout.
- Winemaker: La Perdida
Where and How?
These are old-vine Doña Branca vines – an indigenous white variety that is today quite rare - from a parcel of old vines planted on granite soils in a neighbouring village to Nacho's home, named Seadur. He has rented the vineyard from its owner for several years and farms it organically, as with all his parcels.
The grapes were destemmed and underwent five days' skin contact in an open-top tinaja (amphora). The grapes were then pressed and the juice was transferred to stainless steel for natural fermentation. The resulting wine was racked off the lees and bottled unfined, unfiltered and without sulphur, before being aged for another six months in the bottle before release.
Ignacio Gonzalez, who goes by the name of Nacho, used to work as both a vegetable & fruit farmer and gardener. When his grandmother passed away, leaving him a parcel of old vines named O Trancado, he instinctively felt that it was his duty to take care of them. In turn, this meant farming them organically just as his grandmother had, and just as he had learnt on the farms. The notion of selling the plot or of working with chemicals never even came into the equation.
The same year, he began to discover other old vineyards in the area; whose fate was uncertain and which were likely to be ripped out to make way for simple clones of easy-to-sell Godello. If this happened, all of the genetic material belonging to the old vines would be lost forever. Nacho didn’t want to let that happen, so he took those vines on too. Amongst them are the varieties Palomino, Garnacha Tintorera, Mencía, Godello, Sumoll, Doña Branca and the very rare Mouratón.
Today, he is their foster parent and bodyguard, and continues to nurture them into their old age. From the grapes that he harvests, he produces whites, skin-contact wines, reds and a rosé that blurs the lines. These are strikingly pure, soul-searching wines; wines that would make the original owners of the vines very proud.