Wine growers in Valtuille since 1752, this family winery has gained new momentum after the return in 2010 of Raúl Pérez, a winemaker who has opened new paths for red Mencía, both in Bierzo (León) and Ribeira Sacra (Galicia), and who for several years was exclusively focused on his personal projects. The name Castro Ventosa refers to a Roman site located near the winery on the top of a hill with lots of vineyards grown on its slopes.
The family has always worked around the village of Valtuille de Abajo where, as in many other places in this region, a large amount of old vineyards have been preserved. In fact, most of Castro Ventosa’s 60 hectares are over 50 years old.
Raúl has put into practice many of the ideas he has been using in his own wines including a relatively early-harvesting philosophy, whole bunch fermentation with extended vatting times and, in general, a gentler approach in search of the expression of soils and Mencía’s character rather than high colour or extraction.
El Castro de Valtuille (under €6 in Spain, around 200,000 bottles) is a young Mencía and offers great value. It is a good introduction both to the grape variety and to an aerial, fruit-focused style. While destemming is the norm for the young red, 50% of bunches are fermented with the stems in El Castro de Valtuille Barrica (around €14-15 in Spain, 20,000 bottles) which is made from older vines. In the case of Valtuille Cepas Centenarias (around €34, 2,500-3,000 bottles), where all the bunches keep their stems during fermentation in open tanks and vatting may be extended for two months, grapes come from five very old plots. Valtuille Villegas is a single-vineyard red sourced from a sandy plot but only two barrels are produced. The range includes two white Godellos: El Castro de Valtuille (around €14-15 in Spain) and Valtuille (€46). The latter is a single-vineyard wine from a sandy plot and only a few hundred bottles are produced.