The La Perdida story is so good that I sometimes feel like the story wins you over before you've even tried the wine... lucky for us all though, the story alone isn't where it ends, the wines are bloody amazing too!
Winemaker-owner Nacho Gonzalez started his work life as a Biologist, but it wasn't until he inherited a small, abandoned vineyard ('O Trancado') from his grandmother in 2012 that he sparked an interest in winemaking. He applied his scientific and research background to viticulture, and first set out to revitalise his family's vineyard (that had been planted in 1940).
The name La Perdida translates to 'the lost' and is a reference to the fact these wines are all from vineyards that were all at one stage abandoned and left to be 'found' by Nacho. Perdida is also an appropriate nickname given to anyone crazy enough to 1) take on gnarly old, abandoned vineyards and go to the effort of bringing them back to life, and 2) farm everything organically and entirely manually (i.e. by hand, no tractors) in a cool, wet, humid, maritime climate where farming organically is anything but easy.
But Nacho does it, and he does it with total skill and finesse. His 28, once-abandoned vineyards are dotted all around Valdeorras (Galicia, NW Spain), they are all farmed organically and as mentioned, manually too. By virtue of slope & accessibility all of his wines are hand-harvested and in the winery Nacho works with amphora from renowned 5th generation tinaja producer Juan Padilla, along with a few aged French oak barriques for further aging. All of his wines are wild-fermented, unadjusted, unfiltered, unfined and made without any additions at all.
These days the vineyards Nacho works with total 4 hectares, but for context this produces just 12,000 bottles a year. These vineyards are surreal (see the photos!) - most were planted between 1940-1960, soil types are mostly granite, with some clay, most of the vines are still untrellised (i.e. bush vines/staked vines), most of his vines yield around 2kg per vine and the majority of the plots are co-planted white & red field blends of interesting indigenous varietals; there are some cool things like Doña Branco, Godello, Garnacha Tintorera (Grenache x Petit Bouschet), Sumoll... even a little Palomino too!
These wines are pretty bloody exciting. New producer. New varieties. New region. Well, for me anyway. It was cool to discover these a few years back in Spain and even more awesome to finally score an allocation. We landed these wines prior to Christmas, they have been resting since, and they are drinking really well right now.
Here's a quick guide:
A Chaira & O Pando (Richer, more skin-contact)
Light, chilled reds:
Proscrito & A Trancado (Richer, darker)
Bigger, richer reds:
A Seara & O Poulo (Richer, bigger)