Beatriz describes her wines as ‘swimming against the current’, and she certainly seems to be making waves in her hometown of La Seca in northwest Spain.
Ten years ago Beatriz returned to her family’s land in La Seca, Valladolid, to plant 5 hectares of vines with the help of her mother. This is where the grapes for her Barco del Corneta Verdejo come from. Beatriz has a special fondness for this wine that is clearly a labour of love, and the wines are only getting better each year. She explains that 2015 was a hot year, so was 2017, yet when we taste the 15 the balance and acidity is striking, with a wonderful waxy texture.
Her newer project is from 100 year old, untrained vines. These are about 30 km outside of La Seca, as old vines are hard to find in her town. Sadly many vineyards in the area have been ripped up to replant, as there is a lot of bulk wine that comes out of the region. ‘People here think that 30 years is old for vines! They do not realise.’ Her ethos of small production, organically farmed, small hand-worked plots is unusual in a land of large, conventional producers. ‘There are maybe 4 or 5 other artisan producers in my area, quite spread out, but we all know each other.’
Her Grandfather’s plot of old vines that provides the grapes for Judas (Viura) also gives its name to the wine. The other two wines in this trio – Casio and Bruto – are named after characters from Dante’s Divine Comedy. Casio is a deeply complex and intense expression of Verdejo, one that just grows in the glass (best to decant before serving). Bruto is made from Palomino, a grape traditionally found in the south of Spain; ‘it is unusual to see it up here, and very hard to find.’
‘People here think that 30 years is old for vines! They do not realise.’
With the recent trend of focusing on female winemakers, it would be easy to remark on Beatriz’s status as a solo young female winemaker making waves in a region dominated by bulk wineries. Yet she finds it unremarkable: she planted her vineyard with the help of just her mother, she has a clear vision of what her wines should be and is unfazed by being the lone artisan producer in her area. ‘Maybe it gives me a point of difference here, which can be helpful. Otherwise, I don’t think it matters, it is about the wines.’
She and her boyfriend are moving to La Seca (her hometown) from Valladolid, so she can be closer to her winery. He works with her to design the labels, some of which they are changing this year.