Barrialto produces natural, terruño-driven white wines from old-vine palomino grapes without fortification from the Jerez region in a micro-winery located in a converted historic tavern in Sanlúcar’s Barrio Alto sub-zone.
Rafa is passionate about his work in the vineyard, in which he conserves and recuperates old, low-yielding palomino vines, which runs counter to the current norms in the area. In contrast with many other regions in Spain, where old vines are plentiful, in Jerez, old vines are often ripped out because they are less productive than younger vines. He also utilizes the traditional en vaso (goblet) vine training system, another abandoned practice that his grandfather once championed. All of the grapes are hand-harvested, unfortified, and naturally lower in alcohol than the fortified wines of the region.
In his tiny cellar inside an old tavern, he finished converting in 2019 in the Barrio Alto subzone of Sanlúcar de Barrameda. He allows each parcel of wine to ferment spontaneously without temperature control using only the ambient yeasts from the vineyard in 500L ex-Manzanilla casks. Each vineyard is fermented separately, respecting each individual terruño, and just a minimal amount of sulfur is used in the process. Transparency and quality are always the goal.
Each wine Rafa produces is a unique snapshot of a place, time, and soil type in his vineyards in the Jerez region. As a result, production of these authentic treasures is in the hundreds of bottles, and they are exceptionally limited, coming to the US market in tiny allocations.
- Aranzá – 100% Palomino (unfortified)
- Santa Brigida – 100% Palomino (unfortified)