Jose Antonio Garcia - Un Culin & Aires de Vendimia
There's something special about the wines from Valtuille in the Beirzo region.
Whilst the wines of Raul Perez helped to highlight the quality of wines from the region, there are a host of young winemakers following suit and producing amazing wines there...one of these is Jose Antonio Garcia.
We recently gave his Un Culin Mencia our 'Wine of the Month' and based on his other offerings i don't think it will be the last time he will receive this 'prestigious' award.
Born and raised in Barcelona, Jose returned to the region his parents came from to recuperate the family’s vineyards.
They own 22 hectares of old vines between 500-600 meters elevation with bottles created on a parcel by parcel basis to celebrate the distinct individual personalities of each vineyard.
I'm honoured he was able to take the time out to provide some great answers to our 'Meet Your Marker' series.
Your full name and job title
My name is Jose Antonio García and i am the winemaker and owner of the winery
How long have you been making wine ?
in 2010 i started my project in Valtuille de Abajo, a “microbodega” which reflects the essence of tradition, of small winegrowers, and small productions that characterizes and makes Bierzo unique.
One year later i launched my first wine: Aires de vendimia mencia de Valtuille
Tell us a bit about the winery and your location
The winery is located In Valtuille de Abajo where my grandfather, Santos, used to made wine.
He was historically one of the winemakers of the village.
Santos, his wife and her two brothers worked the vineyards and made wine in a small garage under the family house.
They owned 22 ha divided into more than 110 mini vineyards in Valtuille de Abajo.
They cared until recently, old vines between 75 and 100 years old and sold the best grapes of Mencía, Garnacha, Doña Blanca, Palomino and Malvasía
Now, that same small garage is where the winery is located.
Valtuille is a small village located in a valley with small slopes of 400 ha of old vineyards. The richness of Valtuille is the different solis of clay, sand or rock in short distances. It makes every little vineyard unique.
As my father was from Corullon, i still work a few vineyards owned by my family there. It is very emotional work as the vineyards I am caring for now were planted by my grandfather with his own hands
What varietals do you grow and which is your favourite?
Talking about Bierzo, is talk about Mencia, the most important and iconic variety of the region.
Otherwise doña blanca, godello, garnacha tintorera, palomino, estaladiña, merenzao…are grapes that i work with too.
A favourite…. Well, there is no one grape, but the mix of all the varieties. My wines speak about the old vineyards, the small shareholding of property, the multi-varietal vineyards, the tradition. In one Word...IDENTITY.
How would you explain your wine making style?
In White wines i use a vertical press and like to work with skins. My whites do not undergo malolactic fermentation and there is no control of temperature.
With the reds, i like to work with no control of temperature, long macerations, open top barrels, no use new barrels and like working with stems,
How did you get into wine-making?
I was born in Barcelona but all my childhood was linked to Valtuille, because every holiday my brother and i would travel to my grandparents house. I remember the smell of wine, the ox's used for plowing, the good times around a table… a really traditional and rustic lifestyle. It was a hard life, but they were happy.
I lived in Barcelona until i felt i need to reinterpret my life and decide to come back to my roots, the place of my childhood.
What is your desert island wine if you could only pick one wine? (Can’t be your own!)
Definitely,Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru de Domiane des Lambrays, pure elegance
Who do you most admire in the wine industry ?
Raul perez, As a winemaker he gave me a hand when i started my project and as a human being he gave me the best advice for winemaking and for life
Your favourite wine growing region (apart from your own!)
One bit of advice you would give to aspiring winemakers
The same that was given to me: draw in your mind the perfect wine, and try to make it real. It sounds simple, but it is really hard to make it true
For more information see;
Instagram - @jose_viticultor