Spain - Castilla y Léon - Bierzo DO

3 important questions on Spain - Castilla y Léon - Bierzo DO

Where is Bierzo located, and what can you say about its climate?

  • Northwest of CyL; similar to Galician wine regions, further inland; warmer.
  • On slate slopes (1990s recognised by Palacio and Perez)
  • On three sides hills; towards the west opening to maritime influences

Where are the best vineyards and wines of Bierzo?

  • On the hillside slopes 500-850m; altitude is cooling
  • Large diurnal range: slow sugar, retains acidity while flavour and tannins develop.
  • Good drainage
  • Poor slate soil; limits vigour; low yields, expensive production cost
  • Bush vines are common; old vines - 80% over 60 years old.
  • Often matured in oak for spicy character

What is the main grape variety for DO Bierzo, what can contribute in its blend?

  • Mencia; min 70% in a blend, most are 100%
  • 75% of all plantings
  • Quickly develops sugar; can therefore lose acidity quickly - high alcohol
  • styles:
    • medium to high acidity
    • light to full bodied with higher tannins
  • Blends with Alicante Bouschet (aka Baga/Aragones, 2% planted) for 'ink' - teinturier, deep colour

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