Importing some of the very best wines from the most renowned producers in Europe, Glug seek out wineries with unique stories to tell. From Álvaro Castro at Quinta de Saes, to the four friends who founded the wonderful Envinate in the Canary Islands and many more, we bring to you wine makers who share Glug’s values and ethos. Read on for the inspirational stories of just some of our carefully selected wine producers.
Meet our producers
Quinta de Saes, Dao, Portugal
Álvaro Castro is widely acknowledged as the leading producer in Portugal’s Dão region. In 1980 he inherited the 16th century family farm, on which his family had been making wine for centuries. Under political regimes of the not-so- distant past, every farmer in the region was forced to sell their grapes to Co-ops. In the early 1980’s, Álvaro made a full time commitment to re-establishing the family tradition of winemaking. In 2000, after having worked at wineries in Bordeaux and in Portugal with Dirk Niepoort and José Neiva Correia, Maria Castro began working with her father, ensuring the future of the family winemaking legacy. With three farms on which to grow grapes, Álvaro is leading the Dao’s viticulture movement. His drive to better understand his terroir culminates in incredibly expressive and pure wines.
Coto de Gomariz Ribeiro, Spain
Nestled at the eastern edge of Galicia, the Ribeiro DO is split by three rivers. Coto de Gomariz is located in the zone of Ribeiro where the slopes overlook the Avia river and consists of 27 hectares. Shisteous, granitic and sandy soils, steep slopes, tiny yields and a unique microclimate make this spot ideal for growing the local varieties which include Treixadura, Godello, Loureira and Albariño. Owner Ricardo Carreiro and winemaker Xosé Lois Sebio are at the forefront of progressive viticulture and winemaking by farming biodynamically, using only native varieties. They follow a non- interventionist style of winemaking. The winery produces around 10,000 cases from nine wines with “The Flower and the Bee” making up the bulk of their production. They are unoaked, fermented naturally and bottled without filtration. The wines are their fresh, fruity and mineral.
Envinate, Canary Islands, Galicia, Extremadura and Ribera Sacra, Spain
Envinate is the brainchild of 4 friends, winemakers Roberto Santana, Alfonso Torrente, Laura Ramos and Jose’ Martinez. They met back in 2005 while studying oenology in Alicante. They formed a winemaking consultancy which evolved into Envinate, a project that focuses on exploring distinctive parcels mainly in the Atlantic regions of Ribera Sacra and the Canary Islands. They work with obscure indigenous grape varieties tending the land by hand and with minimal intervention in the winemaking process. Their aim is to make profoundly pure and authentic wines that express the ‘terruno’ of each parcel. To this end no chemicals are used in any of their vineyards, all parcels are picked by hand, the grapes are foot trodden and the wines are fermented exclusively with wild yeasts. The results are some of the most exciting and honest wines being produced in Spain today. These are truly natural wines !
Vina Zorzal Navarra, Spain
In 1989, after a lifetime of working in wine, Antonio Sanz fulfilled his dream of producing his own wines in Navarra. He soon realised that making great wines depended mainly on the vines and their treatment and care. Today his sons Iñaki, Xabier and Mikel are continuing in his footsteps with Zorzal. The three brothers refer to Zorzal as a project. They rescue native Navarran grape varieties that have been almost forgotten, producing single varietal wines based authenticity, simplicity and on organic practices. They are wines that speak for themselves. Their entry level wines are approachable and easy drinking, while the single parcel wines are elegant and rich. They work with old, abandoned vineyards around Fitero, on the edge of the Ebro River valley and the start of the Iberian mountains. Their hard work has been recognised by international wine critics like Jancis Robinson (MW) and Robert Parker.
Cantine dei Colli Ripani Marche, Italy
A small quality focused co-op in the Marche region (central Italy), a region often overlooked but with great terroir and superb wines. The co-op was founded over half a century ago. Far from the old fashioned co-op, Colli Ripani is a modern operation with a team of young vibrant winemakers and a shifted focus from quantity to quality. They employ organic and biodynamic methods in the winemaking process. Blessed with an amazing ‘terroir’ on the hilly Marche, they are very proud to make wines showing real purity of fruit with a sense of place and amazing value for money.
Anno Domini 47, Veneto, Italy
Love of the land and of good wine have always been part of the Tombacco family, it’s like a genetic trait that’s passed on through generations. Located on the ancient Claudius Augustus road not far from Venice, built upon the orders of a general to the Emperor Augustus so as to connect Venice to the planes beyond the Brenner pass, and finally finished by the Emperor Claudius in 47 AD. Now run by the third generation of the same family the winery has been modernised and the passion for the land and the vines can be tasted in the wines produced.
Bodegas Santiago Roma, Rias Baixas, Spain
Santiago Roma is the name of the company and also the name of the winemaker and owner of Bodegas Santiago Roma. Santiago is a true perfectionist, from the beginning his only focus was on the one grape variety that is indigenous to this part of North Western Spain: Albarino. He established his vinery in 1997 with the clear objective of showing the amazing character of this variety. Through different vinification methods he produces a small selection of wines that are truly remarkable. His efforts have paid off and his wines have won several awards both internationally and in Spain.
Misty Cove, Marlborough, New Zealand
Andrew Bailey is an eccentric, hard case, Southerner and subsequent founder of Misty Cove. Much like his wine Andrew matured into a man who loves life, great times and most of all viticulture. Spending his summers growing up in Marlborough fostered a passion for the misty coves of the Marlborough Sounds. So much so, he decided to name his wine after them and establish his winery in this beautiful region. Andrew is passionate about viticulture and his wines really let the varieties speak for themselves with purity of fruit and real freshness.
Fontaine du Clos, Rhone, France
The Barnier family has been making wines in Sarrians, Vaucluse for many generations. The Domaine counts more than 40 different varieties of grapes and 100 hectares of vines, including 14 hectares of Vacqueyras and 13 hectares of Côtes du Rhône. Their wines show a classic Southern Rhone character, deep, warm and rich with those lovely spicy nuances typical of this region. Interestingly they also run a very successful vine nursery and provide vine plants to many wine growers around France.
Finca de los Arandinos, Rioja, Spain
Located in Entrena, just 13 kilometres south of Logroño, Finca de Los Arandinos is a winery with an in-house restaurant, hotel and spa. In 2005 quantity surveyor Roberto Guillén decided to continue the winegrowing tradition of his wife’s family and embarked on this ambitious project. The winery and the hotel interact continuously —there’s one dining room overlooking the fermentation tanks whereas the suite rooms are located above the barrel hall. Finca de los Arandinos sources its grapes exclusively from its own vines. They own 22 hectares aged between 4 and 60 years and planted at 500-600m high, most of them with a northern exposure. The wines produced are stunning examples of Rioja both red and white and have gained the recognition of some very influential wine critics.