Pago de los Abuelos in the words of grape grower and winemaker Nacho Álvarez
"It is a tribute to all those grandparents who worked and preserved the vineyards for more than a century"
The project was born from the affection for certain land of steep challenging slopes in the mountains of El Bierzo, virgin places for the world of current enology in Spain.
We tried to represent a love for the superheroes “the Grandparents” that I met and whom I would have liked to get to know.
What makes this project special:
- Mountain Viticulture in El Bierzo, Spain - the only winery awarded the "Heroic Viticulture" certification in the region
- Recovery of old vines with planting dates of over a hundred years
- Godello and Mencía grape varieties, cultivated and vinified under organic farming principles without a specific certification but a conviction of care for the land and our planet. In English, known as "Supervised Control", and in French as "Lutte Raisonnée"
1888: Teiró Vineyard
1888 is the year in which the Teiró vineyard is planted, located in the mountainous area of San Pedro de Trones, home to some of the oldest Godello vines in the region. With records documenting its planting dating back to 1888. Only a small number of vines remain, about 5 or 6, without grafting, while the rest have American rootstocks. This was the result of the region being devastated by phylloxera and the owners at the time opted to replant with American rootstocks. Originally, the vineyard belonged to individuals who worked in the black slate quarries in the Bierzo region, who grew the grape solely for personal use. Now Nacho Álvarez is the sixth owner of this vineyard, which makes it the oldest in the winery.
1890: Barreiros Vineyard
The Barreiros vineyard is located on the Domingo Flórez Bridge and was planted at the end of the 19th century. The oldest documented record that we have is from 1890. The vineyard is divided between Godello and Mencía vines since in the past, winegrowers interspersed a Mencía plant and a Godello plant to obtain a balanced plot wine. Nacho's grandparents, Floripes and Guillermo, bought the vineyard in the 1970s and it was here that Nacho discovered his passion for viticulture.
1904: Borrunde Vineyard
The Borrunde vineyard, located in San Pedro de Trones, was planted in 1904 by the great-grandparents of Nacho's wife (Ruth Álvarez) and has belonged to members of the same family ever since. Julián Álvarez, son of Ruth and Nacho, is the 5th generation to inherit this vineyard. With a 51% unevenness, the Borrunde vineyard represents the winery's most inclined vineyard.
2015 - 2018: Pago de los Abuelos is born
In 2015 Nacho's grandmother died, and it was then that he took over the Barreiros vineyard. It took two full years to complete the restoration work on the land. As part of the recovery, terraces were made and vines were replanted. In 2018, the first vintage of Pago de los Abuelos came out as a winery under the Bierzo Denomination of Origin.
Currently, the project consists of 35 plots, with a total of 6 hectares, distributed in 3 different areas: San Pedro de Trones, Puente de Domingo Flórez and San Juan de Paluezas. Each plot has its own unique story. Some vines have been lost and replanted, others were cared for by the village elders until I acquired the land, and some had been forgotten by the previous owners and their families, only to be rediscovered and recovered by us.