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Telmo Rodriguez

Telmo is the son of Jaime Rodríguez who bought the famous and ancient Remelluri estate in Rioja Alevesa in 1967 where Telmo grew up. Telmo trained as a winemaker at the University of Bordeaux and worked in the Rhône with Trévallon's Eoli Dürrbach and Gérard Chave. At his father's request Telmo returned to run Remelluri in 1994 and, seeing the potential of the region's ancient abandoned vineyards, he conceived the idea of a great project. With his friend and fellow winemaker Pablo Eguzkzia, Telmo embarked on a journey to rediscover and make wine from old vineyards throughout Spain, and Compañia de Vinos Telmo Rodríguez was born. The focus is on using only native grape varieties, and what hidden gems they discovered! Some of the vineyards they found had been managed, but others had to be replanted. Telmo has a dedicated team, and works closely with local growers to explore these neglected vineyards, and cherishes them back to health. The first wine launched in 1994 was a Garnacha (Grenache) called Alma from ancient vines grown in the town of Sada in Navarra. Next they explored the Arribes del Duero region in Castilla y León, where they found a rare grape variety called Juan Garcia in a vineyard that was extremely arduous to work. Rueda, the mountainous area of La Axarquía in Málaga, and other regions in Aragon, Rioja, Toro, Ribero del Duero, Castilla y León and Galicia followed, culminating in some 80 hectares spread through 355 small plots, planted with 43 different native grape varieties. Telmo and Pablo have a devotion to the Garnacha grape, and in the town of Cebreros in the Sierra de Gredos in the region of Castilla y León, they found a forgotten plot of old bush vines growing at over 1,000 metres above sea level. The slate derived soils here are quite special and unique, and this is where the grapes for the expressive Pegazo Pizarra and Pegazo Granito wines come from. Telmo founded Bodega Lanzaga in Rioja Alevesa in 1998 to concentrate on much the same principles as Compañia de Vinos Telmo Rodríguez, but solely within Rioja, wanting to “bring back to life the real traditional taste of Rioja” from a time long ago when small growers worked from tiny local cellars to craft individual expressions of the areas huge diversity of terroirs. To this end he farms a myriad of superior terroirs abounding with old vines restored by him, using many of the same methods in both the vineyard and the cellar that were used back in the day to make authentic wines from grapes gown on the lower slopes of the Sierra Cantabria mountains. From these diamonds in the rough, precious gems are crafted. These wines are truly unique with a genuine sense of place - they are some of the most compelling wines in Spain.