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Castro Candaz

Castro Candaz

Castro Candaz is the wine project of Raúl Pérez and Rodrigo Méndez in the northern part of Ribeira Sacra. The sub-region of Amand was already familiar to Raúl, as together with Guimaro, he had produced his La Penitencia and El Pecado wines in the region. Accordingly, Raúl has been called the father of modern Ribeira Sacra. Amandi is historically known as the best area in Ribeira Sacra for growing grapes, because there the grapes reached maturity more reliably than in other areas, and thus the farmers were also paid a better price for the grapes. However, Raúl and Rodri headed to the lesser-known La Chantada sub-region for their project, because with global warming, Amandi may in the future be a less favourable region for the production of fresh wines. In La Chantada, the climate is cooler, the vineyards are wider as the Sil River widens, and the soil has more granite instead of slate. Despite the cool area, the gentlemen time their harvest before picking the Amand grapes, as the purpose is to make wines with noticeable acidity and a balanced alcohol content.

In La Chantada, due to the introversion of the area, it is almost impossible to get one's own vineyards. Despite numerous attempts, the farmer, from whom Raúl buys most of his grapes, has not agreed to sell him the vineyard, but also does not charge him any rent. Perhaps Raúl from Valtuille and Rodri from Meaño are perceived as outsiders in the area. The fragmentation of the vineyards in the area is illustrated by the fact that there may be up to 20 different farmers in a vineyard area of ​​1,5 hectares! The farm's first wine was produced in 2013 and the wines are still vinified in rented premises. Every year, the gents try to find more shelters for their project, which has led to an increase in production, albeit moderately. Over the years, they have managed to rent a few vineyards, and the best, very steep 0,25-hectare plot produces their number one wine, A Boca do Demo, which is made from 70-80-year-old vines only in the amount of one large barrel each year.

Winemaking is very similar to Raúl's Bierzo wines. The bunches are vinified as whole - just for the reason that there is not enough electricity in the area for a de-stemming machine. The wines are fermented with natural yeast strains in large open oak vats, which are about 35 hectoliters in size. The skins of the grapes are pressed into the juice every 2-3 days, when Raúl feels like it or when someone is there doing the physical work. After fermentation, the wines are allowed to macerate with their skins for up to 70 days before the wine is pressed and poured into used 500-1500-liter oak barrels to mature. The wines mature in barrels for about a year until the next harvest, when they are extensively filtered and bottled.

Castro Candaz gets its name from the ancient ruins located on the hills, which have remained under the built dams and the river. Today, the estate produces four different wines.

The estate's total annual production is around 22,000 bottles.

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