To find the brighter future, Telmo went back to the past. He could have had comfortably slotted into the family winery Remelluri but, after an intensive wine education in France, he eventually headed off on his own.
And to the most unlikely places. Barren hillsides where vineyards had been abandoned. Sometimes a few survived with practices dating back five hundred years, including “beautiful bush vines”.
“I support the bush vines,” he said and, pointing to the wines he was showing, “I am proud that none of these were on trellis. Small bush produce rich concentrated wine. And the bush protects the grapes from the hot sun. Grapes on trellis are like a sun-burned Irishman in Marbella.”
He spoke fondly of the family vineyards at Remelluri which have a history dating back hundreds and hundreds of years – in the 16th century the monks were already producing wine there.
Telmo remembers the mules coming in and working in the vineyards and also when his father bought the first tractor. After France, Telmo worked there for a while before moving out from what was considered the first Bordeaux style chateau in Rioja.
But now he is back. And has been for some years. The big estate, which had always tended that way, is now “absolutely organic, with plenty of grass and flowers, and we are always working to be more pure, more radical. The sense of history and place is very important to me.”
|Yours truly and Telmo (right)|