Michelini i Mufatto

The Michelini family is not short of terroirs to explore in their native Argentina, and brothers Gerardo, Matias, and Juan Pablo continue to amaze with the amount and quality of the projects they get involved with in South America. Zorzal, Gen del Alma, Passionate Wines are just some of the labels they are associated with, and that have helped change and shape the current viticultural landscape of their native country. Now Gerardo has gone a step further and has taken his family craft and vision to Spain.

With the help of his wife Andrea Mufatto (already the winemaker at Gen del Alma), and their talented son Manu, he is making terroir-driven wine at one of Spain’s most exciting regions, Bierzo. It was César Marqués, and Raul Perez, both visionary winemakers and Bierzo natives, who instigated the Michelinis to start producing in the area. Their friendship became something of a mentorship when Raul counseled the Argentinians on how to find the best plots and vineyards in the area (it was via their relationship that the Michelinis came to acquire a parcel in the uber-cru of Rapolao), and gave them the space to make their first wine from Bierzo at his winery.

After having learned a thing or two from Perez about Mencia, Doña Blanca, Palomino and the local grapes from the area, the family went out on their own. They now have their own winery in Toral de Merayo, a two centuries-old building made of the stones that shape the mountainous landscape, and here they parked some old foudres, and even some amphorae made by the master of clay, Juan Padilla.

They farm their very old vines organically (soils in the region are mostly clay with slate and quartz) and the range of wines includes a village level with fruit from different plots, a couple of paraje (lieu-dit) wines, and the prized cru of El Rapolao. (A new wine, Mundo Zeppelling, made in partnership with another bierciano, Javier Gonzales, was recently added to the mix.) 

Manu is the young winemaker, and he takes a traditional as well as an experimental approach: the reds are foot-stomped in the amphorae, sometimes with whole bunches, and they also ferment in clay. The aging is done in a mix of vessels, amphorae as well as used oak and chestnut barrels. The whites are fermented partially on the skins in tank and used French oak.

Image PRODUCT Description

DB6841-17
Organic
Mundo Zeppelling Blanco
2017
Palomino
A blend of 90% Palomino and 10% Doña Blanca grown on slate soils in a one hectare vineyard with north exposure, and located south of... Read More

DB6840-17
Organic
Mundo Zeppelling Tinto
2017
Mencia
100% Mencia sourced from vineyards around the town of Ozuela. The vines are 80 years old. 100% whole clusters are crushed by foot and... Read More

DB6843-16
Organic
El Rapolao
2016
Mencia
100% Mencia from the El Rapolao vineyard in Valtuille de Abajo. The vineyard has clay and quartz soils and a western exposure, and the... Read More

DB6842-16
Organic
A Merced, El Canto
2016
Mencia
100% Mencia sourced from the El Canto vineyard near the town of San Lorenzo. The soils here are slate and quartz with a northern exposure.... Read More

DB6844-17
Organic
En el Camino Tinto
2017
Mencia
Sourced from several parcels wityh vines that are at least 50 years old, the blend is 90% Mencia and 10% “other” including Palomino, Doña... Read More