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San Franciscan Todd Blomberg worked with Benito Santos and took over after the latter’s death. Todd now farms three vineyards in the Val do Salnés subzone of Rías Baixas, each of which is next to and named after an ancient church: Saiar, Bemil, and Xoan. Todd bottles each of the three vineyards separately in order to preserve the distinctive terruños of each. Benito Santos is among the few producers in the D.O. who’s making, real, unconfected wines - wines that taste like Albariño and express their terroir. As Albariño has become fashionable, many producers have taken the path of making highly commercial, heavily manipulated wines. In particular, many producers use specific yeasts to get more tropical, fruity aromas and flavors. Benito Santos wines are salty, mineral, and structured. All of the vineyards are now certified organic – a rarity in rainy, mildew-prone Rías Baixas – and winemaking uses only native yeasts and minimal sulfur.
November 2012 Wine Club Selection
Benito Santos was one of the original growers in Rías Biaxas when it became a D.O. The vineyards are situated in Vilanova de Arousa in the region of Salnés far to the west within Galicia, thus benefiting from the cool Atlantic breezes. The vineyards are certified organic–the first to become so in Galicia–and all cuvees are vineyard designated.
North of Portugal, on Spain's eastern seaboard, sits the Galician Coast. Heavily influenced by the Atlantic Ocean's weather pattern, the wine producing region here (known as Rias Baixas) tends to farm using trellises that allow for maximum airflow to keep the fruit well ventilated (preventing fungus and rot.) The main grape here is the Albarino, a thick-skinned grape resistant to mildew, and making for some lively, fresh wines of character.
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