Despite its long grape growing tradition dating back to the first monasteries founded in Asturias (northern Spain), Cangas is one of the lesser known wine producing regions in Spain. In fact, it is completely off-the-radar both for consumers and wine critics. Despite a dramatic loss of vineyards, the region is in the process of recovering ancient terroirs and grape varieties following the trend seen in Spain since the beginning of the 21st century. Its breathtaking, steep green slopes with schist soils resemble those in Priorat (Catalonia) and Ribeira Sacra (Galicia), with which it shares “heroic grape growing” practices.
Bodegas Vidas is one of the driving forces behind the renaissance of the area. Its owners, Beatriz Pérez and Pepe Flórez, are both scientists with PhD in Physics and Chemistry respectively. After living in the UK and Murcia in southwest Spain they decided to return to their hometown, Cangas, to raise their children there. Like many other people of their age in Spain, their only connection to wine was that they enjoyed drinking and had memories of wine being made at home in their childhood. But Pepe found himself working for the municipality of Cangas trying to bring “science to the urban areas”. As part of his duties, he organized several wine talks with biologists and chemists and also had to provide the local wine museum with content.
Beatriz and Pepe became more and more interested in wine to the point of buying grapes from local growers to produce 8,000 bottles in the 2012 vintage. Today, they still buy grapes but also look after 4Ha of rented old vines belonging to retired farmers who don’t want to see their vineyards spoiled.
Bodega Vidas currently produces 30,000 bottles. Most of them are young wines sold under the Siete Vidas brand: a white Albarín Blanco (around € 12) and a red blend made with indigenous grapes (€10). One step above stands Cienmontañas (it translates as 100 mountains), the single-varietal range featuring Cangas’s local varieties. It includes a barrel-fermented White Albarín and three reds: Albarín Negro, Verdejo Negro (the latest release in the 2016 vintage) and Carrasquín. These are partially fermented with whole bunches in open barrels except for the Carrasquín (the most structured and distinctive red variety) that goes into a 300-litre foudre. Retail prices for these wines range around €19 to €20 in Spain.
Wine tours are regularly held. Wines can be purchased at the winery's website.