Helping us unearth new hidden gems from Spain
- A fully fledged wine geek, with a passion for both the science and the magic of winemaking
- We found Sandra whilst looking for hidden gems, but with her talent, she wouldn’t have stayed hidden for long
- With the Angel’s help Sandra’s winery could continue its work in the recovery of ancient vines
Map of the Vineyard
Sandra Cortes's Story
"I have a PhD in Analytical Chemistry and my research career at the University, that began in 1996, is focused on the analytical and sensory characterization of wines and spirits made from native varieties of Galicia. The definition of these profiles can help to decide the more suitable processing technology used to obtain higher expression in the resulting wine. I also collaborate with different Regulating Council of wines and spirits in the definition of their tasting cards and in several tasting competition like a jury.
It’s true, I am an official wine geek.
In 1998, the same year I started my PhD, I began working as assistant winemaker at a winery. I started my official career as a winemaker in 2002.
Winemaker's work is a creative work! Each year, the grapes have a special and different characteristics and composition. No vintage is the same; nothing is repeated. Every year you have to make new choices in the elaboration to reflect in the wine the full potential of the grape with which it is made. Waiting for the end result is exciting!
I think the difference is in assessing the technological potential, aromatic and phenolic from grapes each year, not follow a routine work in winemaking. Special wines are those made following processing techniques do not mask the characteristics of the grapes, soil, area and climate. A winemaker made a special wine when they learn to respect the grapes as raw material.
I love floral and fruity white wines made with aromatic varieties of grapes, with a high content in terpenic compounds and not those technological wines which reflect the elaboration process more than the grapes themselves. In this sense, I think that monovarietal wines from Treixadura and Loureira are wines with a high aromatic expression, and are some of my favourites. However, a blended of the above mentioned varieties could increase the character and personality of the resulting wines, which I love as well.
Each year has its history and its funny moments and nerves. At harvest time we eat together in the cellar and every year the same stories, jokes and anecdotes are told along the food. The last day a firework indicates that we have finished the harvest. In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the winery, they were 25 fireworks and the rest of the people in the village did not know what had happened and they came to the winery looking for a party.
In the winemaking process, each step is important and its characteristics will have a great influence on quality. Controls ripening in the vineyard are basic to decide the next steps. The most satisfying moment is the one that lets you enjoy the finished wine when it is still in the tank, recently completed the alcoholic fermentation but already reflects those characteristics that it will have bottled. The blended of the wines, according to their analytical and sensory qualities, is a great moment in the winemaking process.
It’s such a wonderful opportunity for our wine to be sold in the UK. With the Angel’s help our winery could continue its work in the recovery of ancient vines."
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