Bodegas Telmo Rodriguez
Travel back to the origins of Spanish winemaking to discover some of the original varietals
Gaba (Basque for evening) do Xil (A tributary of the River Sil) denotes the first time owner/winemaker Telmo Rodriguez set foot in this primitive valley in the Valdeorras region. The wine is made from the Godello grape, one of Spain’s ancient varietals. It is made from a specific vineyard, La Falcoeira (The Falcon), in the town of Santa Cruz that was abandoned some 200 years ago after the phylloxera epidemic devastated most of Europe’s vineyards.
Valdeorras is correctly Val de Oras (Roman for gold bearing valley) where soils are a slightly acidic mineral blend of slate and granite, mixed with some clay and sand. The area is dry during the summer (called Continental Atlantic) and relatively cold for grape bearing vines. The place is dotted with chestnut trees mixed with rockrose and old granitic terraces that host the vineyards.
The vineyards that produce the Gaba do Xil are bio- dynamically farmed and bush-trained in the traditional Spanish method of farming. Vineyards face south, west and northwest and produce very limited yields. Wines are fermented in steel tanks to preserve the clarity and freshness of the fruit.
Telmo Rodriguez - Owner & Winemaker
A product of French winemaking, Telmo Rodriguez studied viticulture and enology at the University of Bordeaux. After completing his studies, he became the winemaker at his family’s winery, Bodega Rodriguez in the Rioja region, located in Remelluri. Bodega Rodriguez started making wines in 1937 and has been a prominent winery for almost 75 years.
Telmo left his family’s operation in the early 1990’s to discover new vineyards and regions throughout Spain. He was among the first to make wines in Toro, Rueda, Valdeorras, Malaga, Alicante and Cigales. As such, he is considered as one of the leaders of the Spanish quality revolution that has propelled Spain’s ascent into the upper echelons of international wine production.
Valdeorras - Region
The region for this wine is Valdeorras, the eastern most wine zone in the province of Galicia. The spot is almost 90 miles from the Atlantic Coastline along the banks of the River Sil. Legend has it that Valdeorras was Spain’s first wine producing region during Roman times. The climate here is cooler, with abundant rain that had made it a center for white wine production during recent times.
Valdeorras’ DO was awarded as recently as 1977 owing to the area’s physical isolation and unfamiliarity as a wine producer outside of Spain itself. Its climate is both Atlantic and continental, while the Sil Valley also enjoys a specific microclimate due to its excellent moisture retention. Most of the vines in the Valdeorras are planted at a height of between 775 feet to 1,050 feet above sea level.