D.O. Rías Baixas (Galicia)
At the end of the 80s, La Rioja Alta finally leaves the production of Rioja white wines and starts to search for a great white wine, with great personality, with elements that would differentiate it from other Spanish wines. This is when the history of a beautiful career starts in Galicia. The chose O Rosal (Pontevedra) to settle in Galicia and try new oenological paths. To do so, they bought the traditional winery Fernández Cervera Hermanos S.L., changing the company name to Lagar de Fornelos, S.A. For La Rioja Alta the O Rosal valley is a privileged area, since it enjoys one of the distinguishing elements with respect to other areas: its unique microclimate. Despite its Atlantic influence, it has more insulation, which means a beneficial advance in the ripening of the grapes. Thanks to its special orientation on slopes towards the south and southwest, the vineyards of Lagar de Cervera enjoy quite a beneficial aeration that results in musts with a perfectly balanced acidity and an alcoholic strength and aromatic intensity.
Currently, Grupo Rioja Alta is comprised by the wineries La Rioja Alta in Rioja, the mother house that gives its name to the Group, Viñedos y Bodegas Áster in Ribera del Duero, Torre de Oña in La Rioja Alavesa, and Lagar de Cervera itself in Rías Baixas.
History of the winery
In 1990, with Ángel Suárez at the head of the project since 1988, they started to refurbish the premises, the beginning of an essential task to ensure the quality of the raw material. Progressively, the winery grew from the original 5 hectares to the over 65 hectares it currently has. Ángel admits he is in love with his career and with his land. He likes to settle where he goes, so his favourite corner is the viewpoint of Valdemiñotos. There, he started his professional career when he was 18, working for Hermanos Cervera, who planted the first 5 hectares of the farm. Now, he is the oenologist of Lagar de Fornelos, of the Rioja Alta group. He completed the purchase of the last 15 hectares of what is the largest albariño farm of Rías Baixas, with over 65 hectares in total. Up until this moment, he had to negotiate with a thousand small land owners. To this excellent grape variety they added technological improvements. Among other production resources, they included presses with nitrogen atmosphere and a renewed bottling system. The result is the production of wines that are more fruity and fresher, reflecting the terroir and the Atlantic climate that is typical of the subarea of O Rosal. At this winery, they also make the Viña Armenteira line, with marc and herbal eau-de-vie.
The first results of this careful production were made up for when in 2004 the prestigious American magazine, Wine Spectator, chose the Lagar de Cervera albariño as one of the 100 Best Wines in the World. To this recognition we have to add several other awards received by this winery throughout its history, both nationally and internationally.
in 2011, they started the project and the construction project of the new winery. Their goal was to continue improving the quality of the different production stages. In 2013, they celebrated the 25th Anniversary of Lagar de Cervera, at the same time as they finished the works and opened the new winery, where they invested 2.8 million euros.
Without any doubt, the vineyards are the winery’s treasure. A 100% owned vineyards of Albariño grapes, the largest ones of D.O. Rías Baixas, located in one of the most privileged places of this winegrowing area, although the winery expects to reach 100 hectares in the next few years. At the farm Finca Viña Cervera de O Rosal is where the oldest plots, Seoane and Cervera, can be found. These are over 25 years old on average. In addition, among the most relevant factors of the production of high-quality grapes we must point out the soils. Due to their origin, the soils in this subarea can be granitic, sedimentary with boulders (on terraces close to the Miño river) and, like in this case, of a metamorphic origin with schist, rich in minerals. The texture of the soils is sandy-loamy and they have a shallow depth and good drainage. They also have a low pH and a balanced fertility.
Lagar da Cervera also develops a series of studies focused on fertigation, in collaboration with the University of Santiago de Compostela (USC). This way, they carry our research on the fertilising of the plant to determine the needs of the Albariño grapes. This winery is also included in the “vineyard control programme” of Galicia. The aim of this project is to get to know more about some of the diseases that can affect the vineyards, prevent them and treat them. Although in this area different training systems are used, the one used the most by Lagar de Cervera is the so-called “traditional trellis” (emparrado tradicional). The soils are maintained using a plant cover and with no herbicides, thus preserving their natural balance and their microbial life.
Wines from Lagar de Cervera
Below you will find a list of the wines produced by the winery Lagar de Cervera:
Lagar de Cervera is the flagship wine of the winery. It is a young white wine, made 100% with Albariño grapes from their own vineyards located in the plots of O Rosal and Cambados. After a manual harvest, the grapes are placed in small, 20-kg boxes that are transported, refrigerated, to the winery. After they go through the selection table and destemming, the best bunches are macerated for 10 hours. Then, they go through soft pressing at 10ºC in an inert atmosphere, thus avoiding oxidation. After decanting, the clean must goes through alcoholic fermentation at a controlled temperature of 15ºC. After the first racking, and until its bottling, the wine remains in contact with its fine lees by performing periodic punch-downs, giving it density and complexity. This wine stands out for its great aromatic intensity. Especially for all its nuances of stone fruit, like apricot, white fruit, like ripe apple, pear and quince, and a background of tropical fruit, like pineapple. In the mouth, it is powerful, unctuous, and it has a pleasant fresh sensation. It has a persistent, complex and balanced aftertaste.
Pazo de Seoane is made with 82% of Albariño grapes from the vineyards owned in O Rosal, and 18% of the Caiño Blanco, Loureiro and Treixadura varieties. The production processes take place individually for each variety, until the final coupage prior to bottling. On the nose, the floral aromas, such as jasmine and orange blossom, stand out. It also has fruity notes, like apple, ripe melon and a marked citric background. In the mouth, it is very fresh, with a well-integrated and balanced acidity.
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