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Country of Origin: Spain
People: Alberto Orte, Winemaker
Native Spaniards Patrick Mata and Alberto Orte founded Olé Imports (now Olé & Obrigado) in 1999 while in college. Both Patrick and Alberto come from families who have been producing wine in Spain since the 1800s. In fact, the first wines they sold in the U.S. were from Alberto’s family in Montilla.
In 2003, Patrick and Alberto established another company that was directly involved in the production of Iberian wines: Vinos Atlántico. Together, they set out to discover new production areas, to discover unique and compelling vineyards, and to recover old vines and native varieties with the intention of producing handcrafted, terrior-driven wines to export to the United States. Wildly successful, the Vinos Atlántico’s portfolio now encompasses 18 different appellations across the Iberian Peninsula.
Alberto Orte Vinos is a division of Vinos Atlántico that highlights wines farmed and vinified by Alberto from beginning to end, thus warranting his talent and status as one of the great active vintners in Spain. Alberto is intent on rescuing nearly extinct grape varieties such as Tintilla and Vijiriega in the DO region of Cádiz in southwestern Andalucía, and elaborating wines of place. From Valdeorras to Rioja to Cadiz, Alberto is passionately producing extraordinary and iconic wines that hearken back to Spain’s incredible winemaking history. His taciturn demeanor belies an acute intellect and profound talent for extrapolating what he has learned from history and making it new again.