Gonzalo grew up in Rioja, the latest in a long line of farmers and a young man with a life as a winemaker in front of him. He studied biology and then winemaking in Rioja, before deciding to set off around Europe to see how things were being done elsewhere. It was a journey that changed him forever. Many of the winemakers were working in very different ways to the majority of the commercially minded, industrially farmed vineyards that he was surrounded by at home. He returned as someone with a new found respect for the land. The family vineyards were converted to biodynamic farming (still incredibly rare in Rioja) and Gonzalo headed off to the city to secure a bank loan to help him get his nascent winery off the ground. Rejection followed rejection and no funding was forthcoming, so he began the laborious task of piecing together money from family and friends until he had enough to turn his fruit into wine.
That wine would become Gran Cerdo (‘big pig’) and the label would express his displeasure at the bankers – it features a polemic against the people who hindered his progress because they considered wine not to be an ‘impoundable asset’ and a picture of banknotes. Gonzalo’s rant was only part of the reason that he became famous and earned his reputation as rebellious character. Primarily, this wine from his 4.5 hectares of Rioja Alta was superb and, again unusually in Rioja, it was made with almost no intervention (natural yeasts, no additions, fining or filtration), zero oak influence (fermented and aged in concrete tank) in tune with the biodynamic calendar. We are delighted to have introduced him to our range.