Estates / Forjas del Salnes

Forjas del Salnes


Rodrigo Mendez

REGION: Galicia

In the 1970s, most vintners in the Rías Baixas region were pulling up their old red grape vines to make way for the more productive, more en vogue, Albariño varietal. Thankfully, the Méndez family were doing the exact opposite. They decided to plant more of the traditional varietals, such as Caiño, Espadiero, and Louriero Tinto. It was a successful manouvre which helped to preserve and revive this central element of Galician heritage. 

This mission of preservation was kick-started in earnest during the early years of the 21st Century, when Rodrigo Méndez and respected winemaker Raúl Pérez joined forces to produce not just some of the most astonishing Albariño available, but also the rare Galician reds that just a century beforehand were the pride of the region but has since then lost their prestige. Using traditional methods that have been passed down generation to generation, Forjas del Salnes was born as a garage winery in 2005. 

It was named after the ironworks set up by his grandfather, Francisco Méndez. The tiny estate of 7.5 hectares of vineyards are grown in the villages of Meaño, Sanxenxo and Barro. Today, Rías Baixas is still mostly synonymous with white wine, the vast majority of which is made from cloned Albariño. Forjas del Salnés is a unique jewel on the landscape, with its elegant, light reds and is the talk of the Spanish wine movement. The estate has its own take on Albariño, a testament to practice of the age-old process of natural winemaking that is paired with respect for the environment.

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Galicia consists of the provinces of A Coruña, Lugo, Ourense, and Pontevedra. The Atlantic Ocean lies to its north and west, Castilla y León and Asturias to the east, and Portugal to the south. Located in Atlantic Europe, Galicia has over 1,660 km of coastline, counting those of offshore islets and islands like Cortegada Island, Cies Islands, Sálvora, Ons, and A Illa de Arousa. 

The hilly terrain of Galicia is relatively uniform. There are mountains going inland – which separates the region from Portugal, Asturias, León, and Zamora – and coastal plains. Many rivers and their respective tributaries go through Galicia. The area receives moderate rainfall, which is of little benefit due to low moisture retention in the soil. The Oceanic climate of Galicia means temperate rains and drier summers. 

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