Region: Priaranza del Bierzo, Bierzo, Castile and León, Spain
Grape varietals: Mencía 100%
Production areas / Vineyards: El Ruedo, El Cementerio, La Cerámica
Age of vines: 80 - 95 years old
Elevation: 600 metres
Soil: Clay with mixed minerals, quartz, iron, slate and gold
Harvest: First - second week of September, manual harvest in 15kg cases
Vinification: Destemmed grapes, 4 - 5 days macerated in oak tanks, elevage 6 months in oak tanks of different sizes. No fining, no filtration, no SO2 addition
A boutique wine often clearly reverberates the blueprint of its maker. The wines of Bodega La Senda, in which ‘La Senda’ literally means ‘the path’, personify the vision and the journey of its founder, Diego Losada, where he discovers his innate potential as a winemaker.
Diego studied organic chemistry at university. His academic background forms a solid foundation in his understanding of viticulture concepts. Through his experience from working at the more established wineries, Diego developed his own ideology in winemaking, and put his principles to practice by setting up his own bodega.
Diego rents 15 parcels of land amounting to 5 hectares. All are isolated from other vineyards, in order to ensure that the soil is free from chemical treatments. He cultivates bush vines that are of at least 60 years of age. Biodiversity is encouraged, with natural flora intertwining the vines to maintain natural balance in the vineyards. Green harvesting, or crop thinning, is practised, in order to optimise ripeness - at the expense of the grape yield.
Low-interventionist processes are persistently executed in the winery, with additives completely eliminated. Fermentation materials are carefully selected to preserve the energy of the wines with unlined concrete vats, old oak, chestnut casks and founders being favoured. Diego approaches fermentation with intuition and liberty, flexing his creative muscles honed from his musicianship as an electric guitarist.
The name ‘La Senda’ also resonates with its geographical location. Bierzo, where the vineyards are based, lies along the Camino de Santiago, one of the most significant routes of Christian pilgrimage. Bierzo lies between León and Galicia, and experiences contrasting climatic and topographical traits from the two regions. It is at the transition of the dry and hot weather of the Meseta Central, and the cooler and wetter Galician massif. The soils of Bierzo, having been a major source of gold, silver and iron since the Roman era, also shares the granites of the Galician massif and chalk of the Cantabrian mountains in León.
While the warmth attributes to the concentration in the grapes, the cool weather evokes delicate characteristics. The richness of the soil imparts a distinct mineral structure in the wines. Such unique features of the land, alongside Diego’s techniques, allow La Senda wines to express a unique complexity and intensity, purity and balance.
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