Emilio Rojo is an icon in Spanish viticulture. He makes a few thousand bottles a year at most. The wine comes from one and the same plot, on which native varieties of Ribeiro occur criss-cross. Emilio Rojo marks the pinnacle of winemaking and field blending, which is now also used by other greats such as Telmo Rodriguez.
Having different grape varieties in 1 vineyard is a very old thing and is now being used more and more because the bio-diversity keeps the vineyards much healthier and the winemaker can add much more complexity (early-ripening and late-ripening grapes in order to nice fruit but good acidity to get). Emilio Roja works with the local varieties: Treixadura Godello Albariño Torrontés Lado and Caíño.
Ribeiro's climate is special because of its strong Atlantic influence, with annual rainfall exceeding 900 liters per square meter, but characterized by a strong thermal oscillation linked to the interior. Spring frosts and high humidity are two of the problems the winegrower faces every year. In Ribeiro, the bottoms of sábrego, the local word referring to broken-down granite, stand out. The orography of the terrain has forced the cultivation of vines using terraces for centuries. In addition, the orography is so abrupt that within the same plot there are very different types of exposures and thus different ripening periods.
The Ribeiro and its vineyards are a garden of varieties. Sometimes the vines are mixed in the vineyard which is challenging when it comes to harvesting as it means multiple harvests for each plot. Emilio Rojo starts with different harvests on each plot depending on the variety and ripeness. This, of course, is all done manually and is extremely labor-intensive. Sometimes harvesting is done 5 times on a plot because the different varieties are mixed together, but also because Emilio Rojo harvests part of a variety early and part later to get a perfect balance. Upon arrival at the winery, each varietal or zone is processed separately from the rest. For this he has several stainless steel, concrete and oak tanks. After separate processing and maturation, the wine is blended to obtain the interpretation of our landscape with an immense color palette. The maximum production is 5000 bottles and this wine is extremely rare.