Many know Ismael Gozalo for his work at Ossian, one of the more respectable houses in Rueda. Ismael partnered with Javier Zaccagnini in 2004 to launch Ossian. Their aim was to extract the huge potential of Rueda’s ungrafted old vine Verdejo. From the start, their wines were considered among Spain’s best whites.
Ismael’s family owns some of the oldest (between 100-200 years old) ungrafted pre-phylloxera vines in Rueda. Most are located in the town of Nieva in the province of Segovia between 800-900 meters of altitude. These head trained vines have never seen any chemicals over the different generations that have cared for them. In 1998, before Ossian existed, Ismael started MicroBio to showcase these vineyards.
While Ismael and his family own 30 hectares of vines, he only uses 5 hectares for his MicroBio project. The 5 hectares include the oldest and best vineyard sites. The rest of the grapes are sold to some of the highest regarded producers in the region making the Gozalo family a reference in the region. Today, they remain one of the few organic producers in Rueda.
It wasn’t until Ismael left Ossian that he was able to put his heart and soul into MicroBio. With MicroBio, he’s able to express himself and the region to the fullest, with purity being the common denominator throughout. He practices a natural winemaking approach to enhance the purity and terroir characteristics. All the wines are sold under the Vino de España label as he does not want to budge to the region’s modern and manipulative winemaking techniques.
Coined by some as "El Mago de las Verdejos" (Wizard of the Verdejos), he practices his sorcery in a medieval underground cellar located in his native town of Nieva. Barrels, fudres, anforas, demijohns, stainless steel…young, old, skin contact, sparkling, biological and oxidative aging…you name it, he’s got it. How Verdejo picked so ripe can still preserve such freshness and acidity is something only he can tell. In addition to Rueda, Ismael works with Mencia from Bierzo, Garnacha from Gredos, and Rufete from Sierra de Salamanca.