2018 Bodegas Gratias 'Sol' Tardana
Region: Manchuela < Castilla La Mancha < Spain
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Certified biodynamic farming; white, chalky, limestone soils; after a gentle pressing, 1/3 of the wine finishes its fermentation in clay amphoras (tinajas), followed by 3 months of aging on the lees; bottled unfined/unfiltered with zero-added So2; 13% ABV
Winemaker: Ana Gómez, Ivan Gómez, Silvia Araque
In the hot, dry region of Manchuela, inland from Valancia, you'll find the small family farm called Bodegas Gratias, founded by a brother and sister and their spouses. The family is passionate about biodynamic farming indigenous grapes to the region, many of which are grown nowhere else in the world.
Like the Tardana featured here, a nearly extinct light skinned grape that loves the very hot and dry climate of Manchuela. Ana explains about this rare grape and the wine's name: "Sol is a very unique white wine as its very difficult to find any other dry white wine 100% made with Tardana grape. Because it is harvested so late, usually in November, the Tardana grape receives more hours of sunshine every vintage. Hence its name."
'Sol' literally tastes like the hot, dry Spanish sun, and the stark, chalky white soils from which it hails. Bright and fresh with lots of salty, citrus notes, and a dry, mineral rich finish, this is a welcome blast of sunshine in an otherwise dark Covid winter. Wine geeks, you'll want to check off the Tardana box on the must-try grape list.