César comes from one of the most famous and revered winemaking families in Spain. His uncle is Raúl Pérez, and his family winery is Castro Ventosa, Bierzo’s leading winery, founded 9 generations ago.
This combination of access to top vineyard sites, and winemaking experience with the very best, make César such an exciting prospect to work with.
Bierzo is an amazing place - it’s situated in the north-west of Spain, just 5km from Galicia. It has the highest proportion of old vines of any wine region on earth - 90% of vineyards are between 80 to 100 years old.
Mencía is the main grape around here - although every vineyard is planted with around 10% Alicante Bouschet and 5% of other varieties. If you like Pinot Noir or northern Rhone Syrah, then you’ll love these wines.
Despite César’s upbringing amid such greatness, I was struck by his humility and determination to make a name for himself, and to create wines in his own preferred style.
He still makes wine for the family business, but in 2015 he started his own project, with just 3 barrels. By 2021 he’d made around 50,000 bottles, and is outgrowing his small winery in the village of Valtuille de Abajo.