Cantalapiedra Viticultores - Lirondo 2020
Certified Organic, Practicing Biodynamic
Castilla y Leon, Spain
From the importer-
Manuel Cantalapiedra, along with his viticulturist father Isaac, work 21 hectares of
vineyards spread over several plots in the municipality of La Seca - the heart of the
Rueda appellation and home to the Verdejo grape. While most producers in the region
have embraced the ultra-modern styles of Verdejo (industrial farming, cultured yeasts,
acidification, and cold fermentation) to make an internationally appealing wine, the
Cantalapiedra vineyards are certified organic and their winemaking is resolutely natural.
They work with fully ripe fruit, ferment with wild yeasts with little temperature control,
and add very little sulfur. Manuel is experimenting with whole cluster fermented red
wines, orange wines with skin contact, zero sulfur-added pet-nats, and wines under flor.
Although the Cantalapiedra’s work is outside of the Rueda D.O., one could say that they
are the “torchbearers for Real Rueda.”
La Seca is located just southwest of the city of Valladolid in Castilla y León. The area sits
on the western flank of the meseta at high elevation and is comprised of gentle rolling
hills along with flatter areas. It possesses a severely continental climate with warm days
and cold nights. The soils are sandy loam to clay loam over clay-calcareous bedrock with
large river stones. The complex soils and climate are ideal for growing the Verdejo grape.
Lirondo is a Verdejo parcel wine from their “Las Escuclillas” vineyard. The grapes
were hand-harvested, destemmed, and given a gentle pneumatic pressing. After 12 hours
on the skins, the wine was racked and wild yeast fermented in stainless steel tank,
spending 8 months on fine lees before bottling in June without any fining, filtration or
added SO2 (21 mg/l in total). The true qualities of real Verdejo are on display with this
wine; it is aromatic, bright, and electrifyingly fresh.