|Jose Estevez, the dynamic founder of Viña Almirante, did not start life as a viñero though it was in his blood. The story of Pionero Mundi begins with Jose’s grandfather, who owned a farm in Cuba which was stolen by Casto after the revolution. The grandfather and his son fled to Spain in the 1960s, leaving behind Jose’s uncle who could not get out and soon disappeared. Jose grew up in Rias Baixas and though working as a labor lawyer, always loved the farm and was a very talented home winemaker for years. So talented that people kept telling him to make it his full-time vocation.|
In 2002, when a beautiful hillside vineyard, owned by 2 spinster sisters, came up for sale, he found a partner and bought it. This was the realization of his dream, to go back to the land stolen from his family. He said it was a scary moment to dive into this new venture but he felt propelled by his family history, his dream and his love of the land; call it fate.
He now owns 35 HA of vines, all on the slopes. Harvest is by hand. Albariño grows in small bunches, traditionally in the parada (pergola) system of high trellising to keep the grapes away from the humid ground in this maritime region. Jose is totally hands on, producing about 7500 cases of just two wines in his small Adega (the Gallego word for Bodega). Both are Albariños, both stainless steel. Pionero Mundi is in the sub-zone of Val do Salnes, considered one of the best regions for Albariño, on a par with O Rosal.
According to Jancis Robinson:
“Many of the purest Albariño wines come from Val do Salnes. All three zones (Salnes, Rosal and Condado ) share the same granite based subsoils and relatively cool, damp maritime climate.”
|Pionero Mundi Website|
20% of the grapes go through a cold maceration for 5 to 12 hours before the fermentation (depending on the vineyards the grapes are coming from). The malo is stopped in the classic way with filtration and reduced temperature. This wine is freshly fruited with gorgeous minerality running right through it. Delicious pairing with fish and shellfish.
|The Maccerato cuvée comes from parcels where the vines are stressed and yields are reduced. The heightened flavor intensity of the fruit is further increased by an extended cold-maceration of the entire tank for 24-48 hours. The resulting wine has remarkable depth and flavor intensity while maintaining the vivid minerality and concentration for which Pionero Mundi is known. |
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