In the spirit of elevating their family holdings and with an inexhaustible work ethic,
Jose and Julia set out recuperating historic vineyards by hand, recovering them one by one from the stranglehold of wild ivy. It’s a monumental work considering the 22ha they own and the fact that they are doing all of the work themselves. In the same way, working out of a tiny, crumbling building hundreds of years old in Valtuille de Abajo, Jose and Julia have brought the structure back to life by hand, stone by stone, building new walls and a new future from the rubble of previous generations. Renewal and rebirth are themes that run deep throughout the very soul of these wines.
In Valtuille de Abajo, equally crucial to the quality and resulting complexity and liveliness of his wines is the genetic heritage of his ancient vines of mencía, godello, and doña blanca. With his native vines planted mostly before the industrialization of Spanish wine (some vines in Valtuille being more than 200 years old), his vineyards provide an unspoiled genetic window to another era before modern clones were selected for higher yields.
Tasters often remark that his genre-defining Godello de Valtuille tastes nothing like most other modern versions of godello on the market. This observation is true, as it has much more soul and depth than the average offering. The answers lie in the exceptional provenance of his vines, his indigenous fermentations, miniscule yields, and hands-off winemaking. His El Chuqueiro vineyard in Valtuille continually produces some of Bierzo’s most distinctive white wines.
In addition to his vineyards in Valtuille de Abajo which are primarily mixed alluvial and clay soils with a wide variety of stones, Jose is also working single vineyards with slate and quartz soils in the crus of Moncerbal and Las Tias (also known as La Faraona by Descendientes de Palacios) in the Corullón village at 800 meters elevation. La Tias is an excellent vineyard in the transition zone between the province of Lugo and Castilla y León, connecting Bierzo to Valdeorras and the Val do Bibei in Ribeira Sacra. As such, it receives the most Atlantic influence of the villages.
Another recently recovered Vino de Paraje vineyard in Corullón called San Martín is already yielding exciting wine. For now, the vineyards are being blended to produce one Corullón wine, but the future will certainly yield single-vineyard wines from singular vineyards.