Local entrepreneur Fernando Maíllo started this project in 2002 joined by winemaker Alberto Martín and two American investors. Both Maíllo and Martín were born in the village of Sequeros, where Fernando has restored the family house and turned it into a cosy hotel with only four rooms.
Cámbrico was named after the geological period in which the Sierra de Salamanca mountains emerged. The partners started exploring the real potential of local grapes (Rufete, Tempranillo and Garnacha, which is locally called Calabrés); in 2006 they built a proper winery in the village of Villanueva del Conde with the right mix of design, usability and location and fabulous views over the surrounding hills and villages.
They own 6.5 hectares of vines but grow up to 11 hectares and buy grapes from local farmers. Most of their vineyards are found on granitic soils in Ladera del Pocito and other adjacent slopes. Organic farming and the recovery of ancient plots have been two key issues in Cámbrico —up to 80% of their vines are over 50 years old and 50% go well over 80 years old with average yields of 4,000 kilos per hectare.
Bunches are regularly destemmed and fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks except for the barrel fermented white. Processes like filling vats, pumping or devatting are driven by gravity thanks to the use of crane-operated tanks. Aging is done in 300l and 500l barrels. They make around 50,000 bottles, of which over 50% are sold overseas.
Their wine portfolio is being reshaped in tune with the new village wines category recently approved in the appellation. Their entry-level red Viñas del Cámbrico (€12, around 25,000 bottles) is a blend of Tempranillo and Rufete but on the 2015 vintage it is a single-varietal Rufete. For the 2016 vintage, they plan to make two village wines out of it —one will have grapes from Villanueva del Conde and the other from Miranda del Castañar.
575 Uvas de Cámbrico (€20, 5.500 bottles) will continue being a blend of the three red grapes grown in the area (Tempranillo, Rufete and Garnacha or Calabrés) with malolactic fermentation as a distinctive feature. In terms of the single-varietal reds, Cámbrico Tempranillo (€38) remains the same, but the 2012 vintage of Cámbrico Rufete (€39), set to reach the market soon, will split into two different wines: Cámbrico Granite Soils and Cámbrico Schist Soils, in a similar move to what we have seen further east in Gredos. Cámbrico Calabrés is a rarity: only one or two barrels are made, it is bottled in magnum and its price tag, €120, is rather expensive.
Cámbrico White Rufete (€18) is made outside of the appellation —this grape, locally known as Verdejo although it is unrelated to the one grown in Rueda, has not yet been included in Spain’s official varieties register. It is one to watch, though: this grape has a long cycle and boasts great acidity and structure.
DIRECCIÓN: 37658 Villanueva del Conde (Salamanca)
TELÉFONO (para publicar): +34 923 281 006
PERSONA DE CONTACTO: Alberto Martín
MAIL PERSONA DE CONTACTO: firstname.lastname@example.org