Spanish Winemaker of the Year 2015 and 2017 joins the Naked family
- Born in Denmark (in his own words, a country known more for drinking wine than making wine!) David saw how much fun his parents had in their basement dabbling in homemade wine... but it wasn’t until the family moved to Spain when he was 15 that he really caught the winemaking bug.
- Fast forward 24 years - and David has worked at wineries all over the world including Spain, France, Chile and the US. But it's those native Spanish grapes that really grab his attention. The unpredictability of Monastrell (you may know it as Mourvedre) and the many different characters of Tempranillo draw him in year after year.
- Without Angel support David wouldn't have been able to transition from large scale corporate wine production to boutique style wines with buckets of oomph and personality. This new found freedom means he can go back to the roots of winemaking and discover all the possibilities Spain has to offer. Something we think he is really rather good at…!
Map of the Vineyard
We asked David a few questions so you can get to know him better...
Why did you become a winemaker?
I was born in a country, Denmark, known more for wine consumption than wine production, however, my parents, were of the small few, who tried to make homemade " wine" in our basement. Their wine was not much of wine in the end, but as a child I got to see how much fun they had while making it. To this day, my family still laugh at the idea of them trying to make wine in a Danish basement, but what they did back then was plant an important seed within me. Moving to Spain, when I was 15 years old, really exposed me to wine culture. Spain, the wine, the food, the language, the people, the sunshine and the smiles. Our holidays were always spent in one Spanish wine region or another. This is when I knew what I wanted to do for living, it just took longer to get my father to agree.
What is it about your job that you love?
What´s not to love!? I love everything about making wine. For me, like most winemakers, it is not a job, it is a passion and a hobby.
I love seeing the very first sign of life in the vineyards. The little green buds, springing to life on the vines, immediately brighten up the brown scenery. Seeing this gets me really excited thinking of the new harvest. I really enjoy walking amongst the vines as I sample and make my selection. I also, really find it exciting to have all my wine batches out in front of me; tasting and blending them, crafting what would be the best I wine can offer other to enjoy. It is a mental and sensorial experiment that is really satisfying when you have the ah-ha moment.
What makes your wines special?
I am very selective about the quality of grapes that I work with. I am always looking for high altitude, old historical vineyards. These vineyards are typically dry-farmed, locally known as "secano" and many of which are un-grafted,and are yielding a very small crop. This is what I am after; the unique qualities and characteristics these epic vines offer. As a winemaker have a World of experience behind me. I have travelled around the World working with many grape varietal, and many talented winemakers. I have taken the best of all I have learned and experienced and have created my own special fusion-style in Spain. This is what makes my wines special.
Which varietal/style is your passion and why?
I love working with the Monastrell (Mouvedre) varietal because it is known to be slightly unpredictable and more challenging to achieve a complex yet balanced wine. I love this challenge. I also love the Tempranillo varietal because it is planted all over Spain and you really get to experience how climate and terroir influence and alter the character of the fruit.
Any tales of joy or sorrow along the way?
There are many joys of being a winemaker. When you are at restaurant and see your wine on the table next to you. A very great moment for me in my career was when UEC (Union Española de Catadores) awarded me the title as Spanish Winemaker of the Year, 2015 vintage. I was so surprised, and it was such an amazing feeling of joy. Then 2 years later, I was awarded the same title for the second time for the 2017 vintage! I was so ecstatic I can remember jumping around with my colleague. I felt so amazing and honored to be recognized for my work with Spanish wines by my peers. I think I walked around with a smile on my face for weeks.
What do you hope to accomplish as an Angel funded winemaker?
There was an important turning point in my career where I need to decide if I stayed at my previous position of 17 years, where wine production was continuously growing larger, or if I wanted to risk it all and go back to the roots of winemaking and focus exclusively on making boutique style wines with personality, where I can really pour myself into each little detail. You, Angels, have really been there for me, allowing me the chance and the freedom to go back to the roots of winemaking. Without your support I would have not been able to make this change. I hope that, with The Angels, I can continue to discover all the winemaking possibilities Spain has to offer us.
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