In addition to his work in creating the denomination,
Gerardo also began recovering old vineyards, farming them organically using natural compost, and restoring the traditional trellising methods. Gerardo is known for his absolute faith in the local emparrado system (pergola training), which he has adapted and refined over the years to allow more sun into the canopy, allowing for even ripeness and naturally lower yields. He lets his chickens roam through the vineyards the way his ancestors have done in the past, providing both natural pest control while contributing valuable nitrogen to the soil. Grapes are harvested by hand with great scrutiny, sorting the grapes in the vineyard, bunch by bunch, as opposed to using the famous “sorting table.” Gerardo always utilized the indigenous yeasts present in his vineyard for fermentation, long before it became a trendy marketing term. Here in Salnés, it’s just the way his father Francisco (known locally as “Pepe o Ferreiro” or “Pepe the Blacksmith,” hence the origin of the Do Ferreiro name) made his wines to sell to his neighbors.
Most of Gerardo’s neighbors in that era didn’t understand why someone would work so hard, risking their harvest by using indigenous yeasts and waiting to harvest until the grapes were perfectly ripe. Initially, they thought he was crazy, but as the wine started to achieve fame outside the region, people realized that he had been a visionary all along. Aspiring growers began to seek his advice in both farming and winemaking. Do Ferreiro was born from incredible raw material and an uncompromising dedication to quality, a legacy that continues today with his son, Manuel, and daughter, Encarna, all working together to craft Do Ferreiro.
They have also been working tirelessly for the last twenty years to resurrect an ancient family tradition of producing handcrafted orujo. Orujo is a pomace brandy (a clear spirit obtained from the distillation of the skins and lees left after pressing of the grape) from northern Spain. The full name of this style of brandy is “aguardiente de orujo,” translating to “pomace firewater.” While orujos are common across Spain, they are most prominent in Galicia. A common variation of Galician orujo is Licor de Hierbas, an herb-infused orujo macerated with a selection of herbs that impart its distinctive color and flavor.