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, because together with Guimaro, he had produced his La Penitencia and El Pecado wines in the region. 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 favorable region for the production of fresh wines. In La Chantada, the climate is cooler, the paddocks 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 your own nurseries. 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 rent. Perhaps Raúl from Valtuille and Rodri from Meaño are perceived as outsiders in the area. The fragmentation of the nurseries in the area is illustrated by the fact that there may be up to 20 different farmers in a nurseries area of 1.5 ha! The farm's first wine was produced in 2013 and the wines are still vinified in rented premises. Every year, the gentlemen try to find more shelters for their project, and as a result, the production quantities have been increased, albeit moderately. Over the years, the gentlemen have managed to rent a few orchards, and the best, very steep 0.25 ha plot produces their number one wine, A Boca do Demon, 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 go whole - just for the reason that there is not enough electricity in the area for the de-stemming machine. The wines are fermented with natural yeast strains in large open oak vessels, which are about 35 hl in size. The pulp of the grapes is pressed into the juice every 2-3 days, when Raúl feels like it or when someone is there doing 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 farm produces four different wines.

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


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