Just about every wine region in Spain is undergoing a type of renaissance, where young winemakers are forging new ground in some of the most extreme landscapes.
Revitalizing abandoned vineyards, returning to traditional winemaking methods, and recuperating forgotten varietals – all shared themes where the winemaking is most exciting.
Lured by the rugged mountain range of Sierra de Gredos, there is a vanguard of winemakers whose aim is to showcase the elegance and finesse of high altitude, old bush vines Garnacha. The Garnachistas, young winemakers at the forefront of the Garnacha movement, are drawn to the specific terruño and viticultural history of Sierra de Gredos.
Sierra de Gredos is located in central Spain, about 80 km west of Madrid. With a continental climate of hot summers and cold winters, high altitude bush vines (600m-1200m) growing on mostly granitic (and some schist) soils is the catalyst for the Garnacha revolution which has been underway for the last two decades. The Garnacha being produced in Gredos is stylistically different than the Garnacha from the rest of Spain. Given the conditions, elevation and dry farming practices, the characteristics of the Garnacha demonstrate an elegant profile, with higher acidity and considerable freshness, much like a Burgundian Pinot Noir or a Northern Rhone Syrah.
Winemakers to look out for include the trailblazing Telmo Rodríguez, Daniel Ramos, Daniel Gómez Landi Jiménez of Dani Landi Viticultores and Comando G, Fernando García of Bodega Marañones and Comando G, 4 Monos, Bernabeleva, Raúl Pérez and others who are just now discovering the majesty and bounty of Sierra de Gredos.
Today there are approximately 2,000 hectares of vineyards spread throughout the Sierra de Gredos, falling into three separate provinces (Madrid, Toledo, and Ávila). Without an official appellation (D.O.) the wines are labeled according to area, i.e. Vinos de Madrid, D.O. Mentrida, D.O.P. Cebreros or VdT Castilla y León.
Vivan las Garnachistas!