Alvar de Dios
Born and raised in the village of El Pego, southeast of DO Toro, Alvar de Dios Hernandez is a descendant of a family of winegrowers under the age of 40. In 2008, he inherited from his family 3 hectares of ungrafted vines, which his grandfather Aciano had planted in 1919. Alvar decided to start tending this vineyard on sandy soil at an altitude of 710 meters with organic methods, and produced his first wine in 2011, naming it after his grandfather. Due to its freshness and refined tannins, the wine was something completely different from what was previously used in the Toro area.
In 2009, Alvar decided to buy himself another one, only half a hectare in size From the foothills of the Toro area of the Vagüera shelter From the village of El Maderal. The shelter's soil consists of stony and iron-rich clay resting on a limestone subsoil. The shelter faces north, but is protected by the adjacent cork oak forest. The main variety of the nursery is the white Albillo, but up to 12 different varieties grow on it, of which Alvar has only managed to identify a part. The garden was probably planted in 1921.
In addition to vineyard wines from Toro's meadows, Alvar produces a wine called Tío Uco, for which grapes are obtained from 3 vineyards located in El Pego. The age of the vineyards is 25-40 years, and the Tinta de Toro and Garnacha grapes growing on them are vinified with natural yeast strains as whole bunches.
Alvar admits that the Toro region and the Tempranillo known locally as Tinta de Toro are not his biggest sources of inspiration. For this reason, he decided to get to know the Arribes del Duero region, about an hour's drive away, known for its granite soil. The region attracted Alvaro, because after working in the Sierra de Gredos as the cellar master of Bodega Marañones between 2010 and 2015, he got to know the grapes produced by the granitic soil very well. On the westernmost edge of Arribes, only 2 kilometers from the Portuguese border, is Villadepera, whose shelters, unlike the rest of the area, consist of volcanic slate. The area cooled by the Duero River is also topographically more diverse and greener in every way. Galicians who once came to work in the area's silver mines have planted varieties they brought with them to the area, such as Mencía, Merenzao and Verdejo Negro. The influence of nearby Bierzo and Galicia is strong in the area. Alvar works together with local farmers on up to 36 different plots, which in total make up only 5 hectares of orchard area. The blended red wines Camino de los Arrieros and Yavallo are produced here, as well as White wine Las Vidres made from Doña Blanca.
Like the wines of Comando G's Fernando García and Dani Landi, Alvar's wines also taste what the wines of the so-called new Spain are really about. Caring for the vitality of the barns with natural and biodynamic methods, using wines without added yeasts, and maturing them in 300-1000-liter oak barrels produces a unique and telling end result that tells its own story, which you can taste in the glass.
Alvari manages a total of 15 hectares of vineyards. In June 2018, Alvar's home village of El Pego was hit by a hailstorm, which destroyed 60% of the orchards' production.
The farm's annual production is around 40,000 bottles.