Born and raised in Cádiz, Veronica Ortega came of age surrounded by the pungent aromas of flor, evaporating sherry and the ocean. Her first foray into winemaking happened in the Priorat, where she worked with both Alvaro Palacios and Daphne Glorian. After this initiation she set out on learning more at Burn Cottage in Central Otago, Niepoort in the Douro, Comte Armand and DRC in Burgundy, and Domaine Combier in Crozes-Hermitage. Upon her return to Spain she worked for several years alongside Raúl Pérez in Bierzo.
In Bierzo she found a variety, Mencia, that bears many similarities to both Pinot and Syrah – refreshing acidity, bright fruit flavors and an affinity for expressing terroir. Bierzo has a unique climate that straddles the divide between cool maritime Galicia and the torrid central plateau of Spain, as well as two distinctive soils types: granitic sand and calcareous clay. In the right hands, these are the necessary elements of making wines of balance and complexity. While working with Raúl, Veronica decided to settle in Bierzo and launched her own project in 2010 before moving into her own cellar in 2014.
Veronica organically farms several small plots – totaling about 5 ha – of 80 year-old Mencia near the village of Valtuille de Abajo. As was the fashion at the time they were planted, these plots are not entirely Mencia, and on close inspection one can find a small percentage of other indigenous varieties planted along side the Mencia – both red and white. The limestone soil has a high proportion of sand, which gives her wines aromatic complexity and lively mineral acidity.