The official name of the winery is Maurodos but everyone refers to it as San Román, the name of their first and better known red. The project started in 1995. Winemaking facilities are located in the village of Villaester, within the boundaries of the province of Valladolid. Some of the family’s 90 hectares under vine are ungrafted due to the relatively vast amount of sandy soils in the area which are resistant to phylloxera.
Despite making a name for himself as winemaker of Vega Sicilia (Ribera del Duero) and the driving force behind Mauro in Tudela de Duero, Mariano García acknowledges that San Roman is the wine he feels more proud of. “Toro has a great potential for reds. I sensed fine wines could be made in the area even though there is a widespread view that they weren’t capable of aging”, García said.
Mariano García and his two sons form a winning team. Alberto is in charge of management and sales while Eduardo takes care of the vineyards and winemaking. Eduardo has quietly converted their vineyards into organic farming. He believes that Iberian grapes with crisp acidity such as Bruñal, Touriga Nacional or Baga could make great wines in Toro. Regarding soils, he thinks that finesse in the area is strongly linked to the amount of sand (the thicker the layer, the better) covering the clay base.
The range of wines starts with Prima (around €9 in Spain, slightly under 200,000 bottles), a blend of Tinta de Toro with some Garnacha and white Malvasía offering great value. The flagship wine is San Román, a far more mineral, Tinta de Toro single-varietal and one of the few top reds in the area that retails under €30. The family is set to launch a new top-of-the-range red, Cartago, by the end of 2016 starting with the 2012 vintage. Tinta de Toro grapes are sourced from 40 to 50 year-old vines grown on a spot called El Pozo and production will be very limited: less than 2,000 bottles.