In 1999 Juan Pablo Peñalba and Victor Garretas, whose family have been growing vines in Toro for some 200 years bought some old gnarled vineyards with ungrafted vines varying in age from 40 to 100 years! Pylloxera never took hold here, for the soils – strewn with numerous boulders - are sandy, dry and barren. Yields are low and the climate is harsh and with extreme differences of temperature - 40°C on summer days but with cold, frosty winters and minimal rainfall, most of which comes in the Spring. They do not irrigate their vines and so only 70% of their new plantings survive.
The grapes are hand-picked at dawn; and fermentation is effected in small concrete tanks, plot by plot, relying purely on the fruit’s natural, wild yeasts. The oak ageing process is undertaken in barrels that are made on site and the wine bottled without filtration.
The wine has aromas of bright fruit with scents of raspberry, strawberry and a hint of smoke. The flavour starts with fruity strawberries backed by soft, sweet tannins and as it opens up in the glass, plum and blueberry accents come more to the fore. A good partner for robust red meats and cheese.