Pazo Barrantes, the heart of Albariño
Although Pazo Barrantes has been the ancestral home to the Creixell family (owners of renowned Riojan winery Marques de Murrieta) since the 15th century and where Albariño has been grown and made for generations, it was not until 1982, when the vineyards were re-planted and 1991, when the winery was built, that it started to release their wines.
Located in the Salnés valley, just a few kilometres from the Atlantic coast, the winery boasts 12 hectares of Albariño vineyards surrounding the 16th century Galician Palace. All the vines are trained high on supporting wires in the “Parral” trellis system, as is the local tradition, to guard against mildew and rot, and also to assist ripening. The soil is sandy, acidic and shallow. Yields at the estate are normally 8-9.000 kg/Ha, and production is around 200,000 bottles per year.
The unique Albariño grape is intensely aromatic and redolent of peaches, apricots and almonds on the palate, and has the ability to age gracefully.
The typically wet climate of the Salnés valley is interrupted in July and August by two months of bright hot weather that enables the delicate Albariño grape to ripen correctly. The grapes are harvested in early September, and the harvest is over within a week.
The packaging takes its cues from all aspects of the estate: the famous three clog crest which signified the Zapata family who originally owned the house; the beautiful ochre colour which matches the shade of lichen that grows all over the estate, and the flora and scallop shells seen on the painted label that are so deeply associated with Galicia as a region.
The winery shares the same values as the Rioja estate: offering the finest wines possible whilst maintaining the respect for tradition and nature. Maria Vargas who makes all the Rioja travels up to Galicia each September to oversee production of this estate to ensure consistency on the “house style”.
The Pazo Barrantes style is rich and full, released last out of all the wineries in the region after a slow malolactic fermentation and is intended to develop well in bottle.