- Ribera del Duero, Spain
Milénico comes from an area where the Duero River was once a border dividing two worlds. Socastillo is one of the steep slopes where Milénico got its start, and it recalls the former frontier fortress located at its highest point, where today only peaceful panoramas and memories of times long past remain.
The other hillsides on the right bank of the Duero River (most just a few hundred meters from the river) have place-names that refer either to the hillsides themselves, such as Solapeña (lone ridge), or name the byways to destinations, like Carraroa (the way to Roa).
They are poor lands for other crops, having been formed mainly by the runoff from the steep slopes bordering the valley of the Duero River, that join the river with the highlands at elevations of between 750 and 800 meters. The land is well-ventilated and gets a lot of sun, both natural factors that provide the optimal conditions for a healthy vine and for the ripening grapes.
The bodega is run by Juan Manuel Martinez Jr., and the family has been established in the town for generations. Juan Manuel's great-grandfather Juan had a distillery, and his grandparents kept vinesas part of their polyculture farm.
His father, Juan Manuel, started planting in the 1990s and Juan Manuel Jr. took over the family farm in the early 2000s. The family now has a total of 14 hectares of vineyards of the variety Tinta Fina, a variant of Tempranillo adapted to the harsh climate of the area, divided into 10 plots, of which 6 are on hillsides.