2020 Cerro La Barca Vegas Atlas Orange
Region: Vegas Atlas < Extremadura< Spain
Grapes: Cayetana, Pardina
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Certified organic farming with biodynamic practices; old vines on clay soils; 1 month of skin contact in amphora before being pressed and spending 1 year in amphora; unfined/unfiltered with no added SO2; 14%; 100 cases
Winemaker: Juan Sojo & Ángel Luis González
Juan Sojo and Ángel Luis González are like brothers from different mothers, having studied oenology together and now making wine together. One has a background in agriculture, the other in science. Both are passionate about organic farming, pioneering such practices in this remote region. In fact, they’re still the only organic wine producers in all of Extremadura (the dramatically beautiful region bordering Portugal, in western Spain). The vineyard, located on the banks of the Guadiana River, has a huge amount of biodiversity, which the guys say makes human intervention almost unnecessary. The region is hot and dry, so they harvest at night to maintain freshness and low ABV.
We've rocked two vintages of their pet'nat and we're excited to meet their orange, made from equal parts Pardina and Cayetana, both native varieties of Extremadura. The juice sees 1 month of skin contact in amphora, which is pretty substantial, making this one deeply colored with real texture but not overly tannic. While it is more structured than your average Orange Dreamsicle in a bottle, it still feels clean and delicate, with pretty floral and citrusy aromatics, and tastes like a warming, grounding elixir of peach, orange pith and dry warm earth. Orange wine is hot now, and prices are rising, so it's cool to find an example this complex and authentic to the region at such an affordable price point.