Our Navarra project is all about family and vines – handed down through the generations and a love story between Corella and San Sebastien – the past generation. I love to say that the people I work with are like living vines – many generations have lived in these soils. In present day, Maria Cruz Garcia and her husband Carlos Aliaga run the viticulture and vinification at this independent 80-hectare farm in the Ribera Baja (since 1999). There is a lot of pride here in working “the old way,” meaning low sulphites and indigenous yeasts.
Here we have a desert climate, the lowest rainfall in Spain and a wind called “Le Cierzo,” keeping the vines free of fungus and mildew. The biggest threat is that from the butterfly, for which they employ the highly eco-friendly technique of ‘sexual confusion’ (as in many of our wines). Ribera Baja, at the southern tip of Navarra, is a river plain, essentially the basin of the Ebro. We are between Aragon and La Rioja. Here there is more Tempranillo grown than Garnacha, which is more prevalent in the north.
I (Mary) met these lovely Spaniards in Paris at a wine fair a couple of years ago. After exploring a hundred wines from Spain and feeling lost and uninspired, I magically stumbled upon these hyper terroir-driven and real wines that finally felt like human hands were involved in the rendering of such haunting and elegant juice.