Natural wine the “Maestro” way
Alfredo Maestro, Spain’s “natural wine Rockstar” has risen to fame in the natural wine scene way beyond Spanish boarders. This comes as no surprise because in his case “Nomen est Omen”. The “Maestro” in his name speaks volumes of his skills in both his 9 hectares of vineyards and in the bodega, the wine cellar. His vineyards are located in Ribera del Duero, his home region in the province of Castilla-Leon in Northern Spain, and in Navalcarnero near Madrid. In both areas he grows and produces low intervention, organic, magnificent natural wines, with labels so original and funny, we like to keep the bottles on shelves just for decoration.
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The terroir – wild and beautiful Ribera del Duero
Wines speak of the terroir the grapevines grow on. In the case of Alfredo Maestro’s vines, located in Ribera del Duero, and Navalcarnero they speak of a wild and beautiful countryside with vineyards rising up to as high as 1200 meters. They speak of warm summers, but cool nights and even colder winters. They speak of the winding Duero river regulating temperatures in this continental area of Spain. And of course, they speak of the diverse terrain they grow on. The valleys alluvial soil donates finesse and elegance to the wine, clay as the slope climbs is responsible for muscle and good ageing potentials and calcareous soil from limestone in the highest areas of the vineyard furnishes the wine with mineral acidity. Alfredo Maestro’s vines are also contemporary witnesses of times long gone, with many being as old as 80 years. The passionate winemaker tends to his vineyards in the utmost gentle way – it’s this fail-safe combination of terroir and winemaker that makes wines so good, wine lovers all over the world just can’t get enough.
Alfredo Maestro – wine wizard and self-taught viticulturist
Alfredo, was an economist in his former life. Luckily his business degree did not keep him from following his heart and passion for wine, which led him back to the vineyards of his childhood region in the late 90s. There he started acquiring rare, old, neglected vineyards and breathed life into them. The self-made and self-taught viticulturist was adamant about a very natural approach to wine-growing, therefore his vineyards are farmed organically and bio-dynamically. He mostly foregoes the use of tractors and uses horses instead, because his vines were planted in an era where horses and not the much heavier tractors were used to tend to them. He also likes talking to the horses so that’s another bonus. Alfredo Maestro lives and breathes a deep love for the land, the animals and the old gnarled vines. You don’t have to take my word for it, just taste his exquisite wines and you’ll certainly come to the same conclusion.
The bodega – winemaking “au naturel”
Wine connoisseurs know that wine from the “Duero” usually contains all sorts of additives, above all sulfur. When Alfredo Maestro started out as a winemaker in the late 90s, he made wine as they did in his region and as he had read about in oenology books. The process of making wine using additives from chemical laboratories such as acids, inoculated yeasts stabilizers and so forth however disillusioned him as it was so contrary to the organic and natural way he farmed his vineyards. He soon decided to take the road less travelled and work “au naturel” also in the cellar. Alfredo Maestro wines are low intervention, honest, pure natural wines that ferment with the help of wild yeasts. No matter if white, orange, red or pet-nat, all of the wines are a testament to their makers incredible skills in both the vineyard and the winery and are completely free of any additives.
The wines – a feast of flavors
Garnacha, Tempranillo, Albillo, Moscatel, and Palomino are the grapes, the wine wizard Alfredo Maestro, turns into a broad array of exquisite, different wines. The labels are funny and original, El Martiano for instance boasts Aliens in a vineyard, Albillo is decorated with Little Red Riding Hood kissing the wolf. But it’s the bottles content that truly won us over. Elegant red tintos with layered flavors of red fruit, herbs and earth. Funky orange wines with exotic notes of spice, flowers and minerals. Original white Duero wines characterized by their refreshing acidity and a tint of orchard fruits and sparkling rosé rosados enveloping the flavor buds in their pleasant effervescence.