"My idea is always to make wines with an identity that reflects where they come from. I like wines that speak to you, that are lively and elegant, fresh and drinkable, but without being forced so they flow naturally."

Veronica Ortega Winery01

After catching the wine bug in the 2000s in Jerez, Verónica Ortega moved away to Priorat where she worked with Daphné Glorian (Clos Erasmus) and Alvaro Palacios. She then decided to devote herself to the art of wine. That took her to work at many amazing wine-producing areas of the world like Burn Cottage in Central Otago NZ, Niepoort in the Douro, Comte Armand, and then a season at DRC in Burgundy, followed finally by a spell with Domaine Combier in Crozes-Hermitage. Upon her return to Spain, she worked with Raúl Perez in Bierzo from whose cellar she experimented before setting out definitively with her project in 2012.

Located in the northeast of Spain, the region of El Bierzo has a very old wine history and is enormously interesting for many factors. A strong popular link with the viticulture that makes everything in Bierzo turn around wine, its geographical location with Atlantic influence, the enormous value of its old vineyard, a great diversity of terroirs, and the nobility of its queen variety, the Mencia grape, make El Bierzo a stunning region for the authenticity of its wines.

Mencia grape is the native variety that is found mixed in the vineyard with a very small proportion of many other local varieties, both white and red. It is very sensitive to its soil types and altitude. It reminds Veronica of the syrah she worked with in the northern Rhone for its wild nature and savory character, grapes which in blind tastings are often confused.

Mencia grape is a noble enough variety to produce a mono-varietal wine. It is what we call "Terroir Marker Variety". Similar examples are Grenache, Pinot Noir, or Riesling. These clearly reflect any difference in soil and microclimate, making it very interesting by showing the richness of a wine region.

On the other hand, working with Mencia grape, there is a very thin line to keep the balance because it is also transparent to reflect any excess or defect in the vinification. Everything must be in its proper measure to find the precision in the glass.

Verónica uses aging in amphora for her wines as she likes the purity and the texture of the fruit it conveys. She works with whole bunches for her single-vineyard wines (although Quite is destalked).

Veronica defines her work philosophy as "minimum intervention". Trying to work with the best raw material and not forcing anything. She likes to say: "let it be to express its identity". This is not to ignore the few controlling factors to prevent any diversions in the natural winemaking process.

"It is really important to me that the wine expresses where it comes from. That it transmits its origin, because in the end, wine is a composition of place and time. With a both a broad and specific memory. Bierzo is a unique region. It´s a land of no-one, of silence, of soft mountains and with a special sort of light. Perhaps it’s nostalgic, being from Cadiz myself, but when I look to this light, I see the sea reflected in it."

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"There are many emotional moments throughout the process of harvesting. The first day you taste the grape and you have the first information about the harvest. The day you decide start cutting and you can’t go back. When you start the fermentation and you arrive at the cellar in the morning and it smells like a bakery.
The wine becomes a living creature, bubbling and making noises. "

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"In the end, an intimacy between you and the vineyard is created, it is a very special connection.
The most difficult years that I have experienced on a personal level have always been reflected in the harvest and vice versa.
I want to create wine using only my intuition. That is my way of interpreting my profession and for me what gives it magic."

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