Joaquín Rebolledo is a 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. These spectacular vineyards, each fondly named, Fontei, Freixido, Trasdeirelas, Pedrazais, A Veiquina, O Redondo and San Roque 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°C.
Nearly 30 years ago, the Rebolledo family were pioneers in the recovery of the Godello grape, thanks to the instinct of Joaquín Rebolledo, who took a gamble and decided to produce wines only from their indigenous Godello and Mencia. The winery today has 30 year old Godello vineyards, with Joaquín Rebolledo Godello becoming the first Galician wine to win the Zarcillo de Oro in 1993. This was a stunning achievement which created a legend in Valdeorras. This has been followed by a string of awards from Decanter, Robert Parker, Peñin Guide and others. The potency of this variety as well as the uniqueness of the Valdeorras soil has atttracted the most prestigious Spanish winemakers to make wines there. Mencia is the red wine variety par excellence in the entire north-western peninsula. The prestige of Joaquín Rebolledo among red winemakers is extraordinary and it continues to win awards at the highest level. The selection of barrels - French, American and Caucasian oak - in the winery is sufficiently complex to make the wines especially distinctive. With ideal conditions of humidity and temperature, the Mencia acquires a remarkable and unique character. The three wines from Joaquín Rebolledo are pure expressions of their Galician terroir and explains why each vintage continues to gain important national and international awards. Catalina Maroto, who has been Joaquín Rebolledo's winemaker since the 2000 vintage, assisted by winemaker Alvaro Bueno, is a firm believer that 'good wines begin in the vineyard and become perfect in the cellar', and in the potential for Galicia's grapes.
2017 harvest, as reported by Mercedes Rebolledo and her husband, José Ramón: 'on the nights of Thursday 27th and Friday 28th April 2017, the frost burned more than half of the vineyard. Nothing quite like this had happened in Valdeorras for over 50 years. For the second year in a row (last year the spring rain caused a very virulent mildew outbreak), Godello and Mencía will once again be limited in Valdeorras. The quality of the wines in the vats makes us think of an excellent but scarce 2017 harvest.'
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