Manuel Cantalapiedra - Lirondo Verdejo 2018
Lirondo is from their “Las Escuclillas” vineyard. Grapes are hand-harvested, destemmed, and macerated 12 hours before gentle pressing. The wine is fermented and aged in stainless steel tank, spending 8 months on fine lees before bottling in June 2018 without any fining, filtration or added SO2. The true qualities of Verdejo are on display with this wine, it is aromatic, bright, and fresh.
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.”