The Viñateros Santos wines are inspired by conversations between Coeur Wine and Mayu Miller of Viña Franca about a shared passion for the wines from northwestern Spain, near the border with northern Portugal. Drawing from her network built over two decades of living in Spain, Mayu works with talented winemakers to produce and bottle exclusive blends under the Viñateros Santos label. For the first ever releases, both wines are sourced from organic and biodynamically farmed vineyards and made by one of Spain’s most talented young winemakers. These special wines would normally be blended into other cuvées from the producer, but a custom cuvee is created after tasting through multiple lots in the cellar.
Viñateros Santos wines are focused on cool and fresh climate, complex soils, and old vineyards. That directed us towards the northwest of Spain. Zamora, in the northwest part of Castilla y Leon is located close to Galicia and the Portuguese border. The landscape is deep green woods, high mountains and soil rich in minerals. The area suffered from huge migration after the Spanish civil war. People left old rural villages in search of well-paid jobs and moved to big cities. As a result, many of the vineyards weren’t hit by the “standardization” replanting to international varieties which was common in the 1980s and instead have been cared for by old people with their hands day by day. Tinta de Toro is the most famous grape variety in Zamora but as it’s near Portugal, there are many old vineyards that have field blends of indigenous grapes, such as Bastardo, Merenzao, etc. All the vineyards are looked after with organic farming and following biodynamic principles by the grower, and we are proud to offer these unique wines.
‘Vila de Piedra’ (Red Field Blend)
Varietal: Mencia, Bastardo
Farming Practice: Practicing Biodynamic & Organic
Organic & Biodynamic. 20% Mencia, 20% Bastardo, and 60% of mix between Rufete, Cariñena, Trincadeira, Juan García, Mandón, Tinta Jerónimo, Gajo, and Arroba. The vineyard of Vila de Piedra is located near Villadepera, a village with a population of 282 people, which is on the western edge of the Zamora province. It is close to the border between Portugal and Spain. The indigenous grapes varieties here are similar to Galician and Portuguese grapes, such as Merenzao, Rufete, Trincadeira, Doña Blanca. The Douro River has a significant influence here as it forms narrow canyons similar to the Ribeira Sacra. The soil type of the area is igneous black slate. The wine from this volcanic soil is fragrant, fresh, and balanced. The name comes from the village Villadepera, which means “Vila de Piedra, or Village of Stone”, inspired by the unique soil type. Altitude is 780m, similar to the altitude of Ribeira Sacra in Galicia. The vines were planted in the 1920s to 1940s and are trained in the goblet style. Winemaking: From the winemaker “we are obsessed with freshness. Our aim of Vila de Piedra is to express purity and freshness coming from the soil.” Winemaking: grapes are hand-picked and vinified 100% whole clusters in cement with only a gentle pressing to break the skins. There is then no extraction done- the idea is to “steep” the juice with the skins. Fermentation occurs with natural yeast and the temperature is kept low during maceration. Malolactic fermentation in wooden casks then aging in oak barrels (225lit) for 12 months to polish the tannin. The grower doesn’t use chemical substance in vineyards or in cellar, except a tiny dose of SO2 (approx. 40 ppm) to guarantee the wine arrives safely to the table.
Tempranillo ‘El Torito’
Farming Practice: Practicing Biodynamic & Organic
Organic & Biodynamic. 100% Tinta de Toro. Vineyard “El Tomillar” (which means the field of thyme in Spanish), is located en El Pego village, in the southeastern part of Zamora province. El Pego is close to other provinces of Castilla y Leon, such as Salamanca and Valladolid (the star players of DO Ribera del Duero). The area receives strong influence from the continental climate. The majority of the grapes for El Torito are grown on sandy, calcareous stone soils, and there are many old vines in this area, owing to this special sandy soil which prevented Phylloxera from spreading and reaching the vine roots. El Tomillar is 16 ha but the winemaker selects grapes from the best parts of the vineyards- those with more altitude and rockier soils- for El Torito. The vineyard was planted in the 1970s, but when the winemaker speaks about the vines, he says “they are still young’! Goblet training and the plot is oriented south. Altitude is 720m above sea level. Winemaking: grapes are hand-picked and vinified 100% whole clusters that are initially are crushed by foot. Fermentation in stainless steel with natural yeast with temperature control (16-23dC). Aged in 2000 liter neutral oak casks for three months. During the winter, the wine rests and decants naturally. The winemaker doesn’t use chemical substances in vineyards or in the cellar, except a tiny dose of SO2 (approx. 40 ppm) to guarantee the wine arrives safely to the table.