Grapes: Rufete, Juan Garcia, Etc...
Region: Castilla y Leon, Spain
Toro is long overdue for a breath of fresh air -- or fresh wine in the case of Alvar de Dios. The appellation in northwest Spain is known for its furious wines of weight, richness, and over extraction. Alvar is making sure to change that by exploring different terroirs, blends, and by approaching winemaking in a much more delicate way than we’re accustomed to see from the region. He was born and raised in the village of El Pego in Toro, but didn’t stay in the region to learn his trade; instead, he fell in with a pair of vinous rebels working in the Sierra de Gredos – Fernando Garcia and Dani Landi from Comando G. Alvar’s first vineyard was inherited from his family in the village of El Pego in 2008. This site, called Aciano in honor of his grandfather, totals 3 ha of mainly Tempranillo at an elevation of 710m and is planted on a unique terroir for the DO – sand. This sandy soil is resistant to phylloxera, which is why these ungrafted vines, planted in 1919, have survived to this day. Since taking over this site, Alvar has farmed it organically, waiting until 2011 to make his first vintage.