Rías Baixas, Spain

Zarate is a family-owned estate located in the Village of Meano, found in the heart of the Salnez Valley, which is a part of the Spanish Rias-Baixas Denominacion de Origen. The property is centered on a manor (or pazo) originally built in the sixteenth century which was completely restored two hundred years later. The winery was founded in 1707 by Diego Zarate y Murga, the first Marques of Montesacro, by royal decree of King Felipe v. The Zarate Family has been tending to the winery and the vineyards for the past seven generations. Zarate is in fact the de facto pioneer for Albariño as we know it today, having started production in the early fifties. Owner Ernesto Zarate founded the “Fiesta del Albariño” in the town of Cambados, obtaining first place consecutively in 1954, 1955, and 1956. He retired after his third award and has not presented his wines since. Since harvesting the 2000 vintage, current owner Eulogio Pomares has been equally as dedicated to the Albariño variety and the estate’s century-old vineyards. His sole aim is to naturally farm and care for the old vines. Each parcel is vinified separately; thus displaying the individual terroir in each of the wines. Zarate cultivates seven and a half hectares of land scattered among thirteen distinctive, prime sites within the Salnez valley. Granite soils are the base for century-old, pre-phylloxera vineyards exclusively belonging to the family. At nearly 120 years old, the vineyard El Palomar is the oldest documented vineyard in the Rias Baixas. Care for the environment is the main concern when tending to the vineyards. No fertilizers or herbicides have been added to the soils since 1994. The property obtained full organic certification after the 2006 harvest, as it did completely away with any use of chemical agents and /or pesticides, while at the same point protecting the surrounding flora and fauna. Zarate handcrafts dry, mineral, refreshing wines with ample capacity for cellar aging.

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