Valdeorras – “Mineral Valley” – has been prized since Roman times for its slate and precious metals, remaining an internationally-prominent source of slate for the building industry. The Romans may have taken the gold, but they cultivated the Godello – among the first vitis vinifera grapes to evolve in Spain, and a strong contender with Albariño for top honors among Spanish noble white varieties. Valdeorras is the Galician counterpart to Bierzo in Castilla y León, the two D.O.s separated by the Montes de León and communicated via road tunnels and the gorge of the Sil River. As in Bierzo, Mencía and Godello are the primary quality varieties, but in Valdeorras the more Atlantic climate and lighter soils tip the scales in favor of Godello.
Arriving from Bierzo, the first and highest village in Valdeorras is Rubiá, home of Casal Novo. Founded in 2000 by five partners (including former President of the D.O. Valdeorras), a total of eight hectares are planted in small parcels primarily to Godello and Mencía. High elevation and off-south exposures delay maturation, and quality is sought via low yields and sustainable viticulture. Parcels are located on both sides of the Sil River, offering both slate and chalk/clay terroirs. This duality of terroir is expressed in a layered textural/mineral complexity that defines the house style. Casal Novo Godello and Mencía are unoaked in order to feature the wines’ inherent complexity.