A Portela

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Country of Origin: Spain
Location: Valdeorras, Galicia
People: Luis Sharon, Partick Mata & Alberto Orte, Owners | Luis Sharon & Alberto Orte, Winemakers
Viticulture: Practicing Organic

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A Portela is a unique wine produced with the rare Mencía grape (pronounced Men-THEE-ah). Mencía only grows in northwest Spain. In this case, A Portela comes from Valdeorras, which is one of the most inland wine regions of Galicia. The high elevation of this precious small part of Galicia produces Mencía grapes that are different from other Galician wine regions, flavors tend to be more uplifted, more floral, brighter, and very pretty!

A Portela is a joint venture between the Sharon family, owners of the Ladera Sagrada estate, and CVA. The Sharon family possesses the largest holdings of vineyard land in the Valdeorras appellation. A Portela is made with the best 20% of the vineyard land. The rest of the given year’s harvest is sold in bulk to other neighboring producers. The estate's vineyards grow two varietals, Godello and Mencia. All the grapes are organically grown.

The vineyards are located in the autonomous region of Galicia, in far northwestern ‘Celtic’ Spain, within the Valdeorras DO (Zone 1) in Valdeorras district and within Ourense province. The vineyards are in the mountain town of Larouco, at 533 meters (1,749 ft.) elevation. The soil is composed of slate and granite topsoil with a thin clay subsoil. This soil profile is poor in organic matter and the vines yield about 6 pounds of grapes per vine, compared to the average of around 17 pounds per vine in Valdeorras. The surface of the granite and slate soil is warmed by sunlight during the day and provides heat to the roots, which encourages the grapes to continue ripening during the cool nights. Lower yields result in more concentrated grapes providing more intense aromas and flavors in the wines.