The Cantalapiedras have been grape growers in Castilla y León for several generations. Like most families, they sold the bulk of their grape production to larger operators in the area. In 1949, Heliodoro planted his first vineyard in La Seca, southwest of Valladolid, at the center of the Rueda appellation, where verdejo is the grape. Together with his son Isaac, they built a domaine spanning over 20 hectares, farming organically. In 2014, Isaac’s son Manuel began bottling their first vintage.
While there has been a shift by large wineries adopting a strategy of mass-producing white wines geared toward the international market - high yields, machine harvesting, selected yeasts, cold fermentation, heavy filtration, and added sulfites – this has also provided an opportunity for a counter culture in winemaking philosophy - artisanal-minded winemakers with profound respect for the land, crafting terruño-driven wines with minimal intervention, excluded from the Rueda and Toro D.O. The Cantalapiedra family is part of that vanguard.
In addition to the verdejo varietal, Manuel has been inspired by the potential of the tempranillo grape out of Toro (known as Tinta de Toro). Working with old parcels, Manuel farms organically without irrigation and harvests late to retain vibrant acidity. Cellar practices include wild yeasts for fermentation, no additives and minimal amounts of S02.
The results are singular expressions of the bounty that is Castilla y León.