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Nicholas Corke, Thomas Peatling Wines and his blog from Gonzalez Byass wineries tour

Published:  24 June, 2010

Nicholas Corke from Thomas Peatling and his daily blog during the independent merchants trip around Gonzalez Byass wineries:

Imagine the excitement, whilst out cycling in the mountains, of discovering 80 year old vines previously unknown to exist. This is what happened to the winemaker from Vinas del Vero ten years ago beyond the boundaries of Somontano in the village of Secastilla, one of seven fortified towns built to defend the region from ravaging hordes many years ago.

Tracking down the owners, striking a deal to firstly rent and then buy the vineyards was no easy task and restoring the semi abandoned vines took a number of years. The vines were planted amongst olive trees and are constantly under threat from wild boar.

They have to search so deep for water through the stony ground that replanting has proved difficult . The resulting wine, secastilla produced from these now 90 year old garnacha vines has resulted in one of the most delicious, concentrated spanish wines you can buy.

Full of intensity, sweet, sweet black fruit, with hints of mocha and chocolate is the result. Luckily we did not have to cycle to the remote area to experience the uniqueness of this wine and its extraordinary history but the drive in the 484 was bumpy and we weren't attacked by any boars!