What's New in March

A Drink From The Porron

Viña Mein at a Crossroads

Somewhere in the middle of Galicia lies this amazing place called Viña Mein, owned by the gregarious bon vivant Javier Alén. Javier was really the one to rediscover and rethink Galicia as a growing region. Before Javier replanted his grandmother’s plot of vines outside the monastery of San Clodio, the only Galician wine that people knew was old-school Ribeiro, served in porcelain saucers. It was, in fact, known in the olden days as the long-lived white wine of Spain. The Romans planted these vineyards and the Sil River became a major transit point for goods through the ancient port of Ribadavia, where Jewish merchants held court and traded barrels of the famous nectar.

Javier decided the history of this site was too great to leave abandoned and he went about modernizing his grandmother’s vineyards. His wine received praise and became well known through out Spain. After many years of success, Javier realized a second revolution was necessary; he wanted to bring Viña Mein to the next level.

After much searching he came across the name of two young visionaries who had been working in the mountains of the province of Madrid. Fernando García and Dani Landi had recently formed a winemaking team called Comando G, named after a famous cartoon from their youth. Javier gave them carte blanche and they started studying the different soils, elevations and exposures of the plots that made up Viña Mein. They came to the conclusion that there was incredible potential that needed to be unlocked. In 2014, under very difficult conditions, Dani and Fernando carved out three amazing cuvées that are now ready for release.

Eiras Altas comes from the top parcels in the Viña Mein Valley. Fermented by using its own yeasts in old 600 liter barrels, the wine shows the rich and exotic components of the Treixadura grape. The Tega do Sal is a different idea focusing on Treixadura, Albariño and Loureira from two sites named Tega do Sal and Vilerma Baixa. The winemaking is similar and the differences rest in the sites located in the Gormaz Valley, which are more clay based. The third wine, called Tinto Atlántico, is from an incredible site that I watched being planted right next to one of the greatest vineyards in Spain known as Socalcos de Ibedo. Emilio Rojo is also born from these terraces. The difference here is that the plantings are composed of Caiño, Brancellao and Sousón. Full of iodine and mineral notes, this is one of the great new reds from Galicia and not to be missed. The rebirth of this winery is just one of the many great stories coming out of Northwest Spain!