Located in Ribadumia in the heart of the Salnés Valley, Lagar de Pintos is located in a traditional pazo, a typical manor house found in the Galician countryside, which has belonged to the Pintos family for four generations. The grandfather planted the first vineyards in the 1950s and started making and bottling wine, but it was his son who modernized the estate in the 1980s, when the region started to embrace wine production on a larger scale following the recovery of the Albariño grape variety. Today winemaker Marta Castro-Pintos and her sister Carmen manage the estate.
With seven hectares of their own, organic growing has been recently introduced for their top wines. Current production stands at 150,000 bottles with 10% destined to export markets.
Lagar de Pintos use pre-ferments with natural yeasts and they firmly believe in Albariño’s aging ability. This is why, with the exception of their entry-level Albariño Castiñeira, they avoid malolactic fermentations thus the fresh, citrusy style that marks their carefully crafted wines.
Castiñeira (€8.5 at the winery’s online store) is made from grapes bought to local winegrowers exclusively from the Salnés Valley. Their flagship white Lagar de Pintos (€12.5, 15,000-20,000 bottles) is sourced from their own seven plots —Palomar, Gatiñeira, Requeixo, Cachadiña, La Escusa, Albar and Puente Arnelas—, each of which is fermented and aged separately with their lees in stainless steel tanks for six months. Citrus notes dominate in this Albariño, developing onto pleasant petrol aromas after some cellaring time. Next up is Pintos Los Nietos (€21, 5,000 bottles), a limited edition of the best Lagar de Pintos batches which is left to age for around five years. This wine will change from the 2016 vintage: grapes will only be sourced from ungrafted vines grown in the estate and aging will be done in foudre. Marta is thrilled about this –she says that foudres respect Albariño’s fruit expression perfectly at the same time that they tame the variety.
Their oldest vineyards are destined to 3.000 Cepas (2,750 bottles, €18.5), until now the only wine in the range to be fermented and aged in oak –up to one year in 500-litre barrels. Acidity once again plays a key role helping to define its character, adding persistence and keeping oak flavours in check.
Lagar de Pintos also makes a single-varietal Mencía in Ribeira Sacra as well as the classic Galician aguardiente (marc) with herbs and coffee. Wine tours are available from Monday to Friday but appointments must be arranged in advance.