A taste for tradition

In the spring of 2011, the wine promoter Antonio Morales -with more than 30 years of experience in wineries such as Enate or Las Moradas de San Martín, as well as tasting coordinator of the prestigious Peñín Guide for 6 years- and Alberto Melena, passionate about food and wine, started an adventure in the Bierzo vineyards from which Albanto, La viña de las flores, was born. From this first incursion, a barrel-fermented white wine was born with 5 different varieties: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Gewürztraminer, Doña Blanca and Godello.

The surname “La viña de las flores” has its reason for being. The Albanto vineyards are guarded, in each of its rows, by colorful roses. Their mission is not merely decorative, but they alert of the presence of a disease called “Oidio”, caused by a fungus. The leaves of the rose bushes are spotted before the vine, allowing the winegrower to detect the disease and treat the vines in time.

In its vineyards of the D.O. León, Albanto cultivates two grape varieties unknown to the general public: Albarín (not to be confused with Albariño) and Prieto picudo.

The Albarín grape is a variety native to the area of Asturias and León. It is a scarce variety, with only 80 hectares worldwide, of which 60 are in León.  The Albarín is an early ripening grape, very aromatic, with good alcohol content and fresh acidity, capable of combining herbaceous, floral, fruity and fresh aromas with the warmth and elegance of its white fruit notes such as peach or apricot. From the variety Albarín are born Albanto fermented in barrel and Albanto fine lees.

On the other hand, the Prieto picudo variety, native of the D.O. Tierra de León, occupies 70% of the more than 1,400 hectares of vineyards of the denomination.  With this grape, in Albanto they have wanted to recover the technique of the madreado as a method of elaboration of rosé wine. Antonio Morales, who has studied the history of wine production in León, proposed to launch a product on the market that would keep the traditional production methods, adding value with new technologies.

The “madreado” technique consists of choosing whole clusters of grapes, well selected and without de-stemming them, to make them ferment together with the pressed must, thus causing a double fermentation (that of the whole cluster and that of the must) which gives the rosé wine a more intense and brilliant color, a body with a more noble structure and a hint of needle that pleases the palate and improves the senses.

Albanto’s philosophy is the philosophy of the grape, to recover varieties that have been relegated by others of greater production and to apply, in the process of elaboration of the wine, traditional techniques, adapting them to the latest technologies.

  • Address: Calle Jimena Menéndez Pidal, 3. 28023 Madrid, España.
  • Email: antoniomoralesp@yahoo.es
  • Telephone: 670 430 232
  • Web: albanto.es
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  • References: ALBANTO FERMENTADO EN BARRICA, ALBANTO LÍAS FINAS, ALBANTO MADREADO ROSADO.
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