- Rías Baixas, Galicia, Spain
The Albariños from Pedralonga are equally dramatic (to Benito Santos), if showing more mineral and saline depth… both opulent and totally precise; it could kick the living crud out of a Sancerre.”
–Jon Bonné, San Francisco Chronicle
In 1982 Francisco Alfonso planted this seven and one-half hectare cru on a pure granitic hillside, ten miles from the Atlantic Ocean. For years they sold the wine locally and unlabeled. In 1997 they founded the winery as it is known today: Pedralonga, which means “big rock” in Gallego, a reference to the huge chunks of granite sticking out of the soil. It is now run by Francisco’s son Miguel.
The vineyard has always been farmed organically and in 2007 they began integrating biodynamic practices. Miguel is fond of the Galician saying “A man who does not watch the moon does not reap the harvest.” They closely follow the phases when making farming decisions. They plow only when needed in order to combat erosion caused by the wet climate and promote the vineyard’s natural biodiversity.
In the cellar Miguel does as little as possible. He doesn’t de-stem the Albariño grapes and he does partial whole-cluster fermentation for the red blend. He’s only using native yeast and doesn’t block malolactic fermentation with the belief that the natural process is part of the vintage variation. The wines are all aged on the lees for extended periods before being bottled.
The resulting wines are complex and age-worthy, with remarkable texture and structure, balanced by bracing acidity and rich minerality.