Emilio replanted the site with the indigenous varieties that once grew on this same plot,
including treixadura, loureiro, lado, albariño, godello, and torrontés. Plantings are midway up the slope, as was the custom for traditional sites, fully protected from frosts as the cool air drops to the bottom of the valley. Vines are planted so close to one another that all of the work must be done by hand. Yields are significantly lower than the area’s average; the goal is to leave just five to six bunches per vine to maximize concentration. The vineyard is farmed with organic principles, without the use of chemical inputs, which would run counter to the human-scale philosophy of the project. The harvest is driven by the ripening cycle of each of the individual varieties. Various varieties are hand-picked at different times, depending on ripeness levels.
Only one wine is made, the namesake Emilio Rojo. It consists mostly of treixadura, accounting for approximately 65% of the blend, with small amounts of loureiro, albariño, lado, torrontés, and godello. After fermenting with native yeasts in stainless steel, the wine is kept on its lees for one year before bottling to develop complexity, allowing Emilio Rojo to improve in bottle for ten years or more. We recommend a minimum of at least five years of cellaring for the wine to show its immense complexity.
Finally, after working his vineyard solo for the last 32 years, Emilio decided it was time to start his transition to retirement in 2019. He brought in the help of the talented Laura Montero Rodil, who is part of the excellent winemaking team of Alma Carraovejas, who bought a majority share in Emilio Rojo’s project. Rojo is still fully involved and continues helping make the wine for the next couple of years during the transition. Laura, a Galicia resident, has extensive experience making fine wine throughout Spain and France, as well as a deep respect for each terroir with which she works. Emilio is still close to the project, ensuring his deep knowledge and understanding of his famous vineyard is passed on to the next generation. Calling Emilio Rojo a “unicorn wine” is an understatement, as those who are able to secure a few precious bottles consider themselves extremely lucky. We are thrilled that Emilio’s legacy and contribution to Spanish viticulture will live on into the future.