Vineyard: The grapes originate from “Sierra de Francia” mountain region in the south of the province of Salamanca (Castilla y León). Rufete Blanca is an almost extinct variety indigenous to this region.
Appellation: Because the wine is not made inside the boundaries of the D.O., there is no D.O. claim on the label.
Varieties: 100% Rufete Blanca (also known as Verdejo Serrano).
Harvest and Production: Hand harvested in boxes. The grapes were destemmed by hand and left to macerate during three days. After the pressing, the must goes to two to three-year-old French oak barrels where the batonnage is done daily. The fermentation takes place with indigenous yeast, and the wine remains on the lees until bottling 14 months later. In 2011, only 600 bottles were produced.
David Sampedro fell in love with this region during a wine trip in Northeastern Spain and realized it had enormous potential even if the D.O.P. Sierra de Salamanca had clearly been in a wine growing recession with a significant reduction in maintained vineyards and active producers. He started this project in 2008 and never looked back.
The acidic soils in the region are quite different from the more alkaline soils he had been working with in Rioja Alavesa. The vineyards were selected to include slate soils (metamorphic origin) across the west mountains (“Sierra de Francia”), and granitic soils (plutonic rocks) along the east mountains (“Sierra Quilamas”).
In a humid-Mediterranean climate, where the relatively short winters are not really cold, with long and warm summers, the region receives an abundant rainfall in the spring and autumn, reaching more than 1 000 mm per year. This compensates for the poor water retention property of slates and granites.
The vineyards David selected in the Alagón Valley enjoy a mountainous microclimate with plots located between 400m and 1000m above sea level, while being protected from high winds. Those plots are singular both because they are located on terraces at the highest part of the south faced slopes, and were planted a long time ago as more than half of the vines are more than 80 years old and another 30% is more than 50 years old.
Rufete Blanca is a very oxidative variety which requires a lot of care. David Sampedro was the first to make a 100% Rufete Blanca.