Bodegas Gomez Nevado
Gabriel Gomez is a small family producer from the heart of the Sierra Morena mountains in the Andalucian region of southern Spain. They were the first estate in Spain to use organic viticulture, as far back as 1988, and consistently produce sherry-type wines of high quality.
Led by the patriarch Gabriel, the family work 8 hectares of certified organic vineyard. Grass grows in between the spread out, huddled-close-to-the-ground bush vines, with the family’s flock of goats grazing and trimming back the wild flora. The vineyards are made up of 60% Aris –called Airén to the north- and 20% each of Palomino and Pedro Ximenez, and sit at roughly 500 meters elevation on a mix of clay and slate soils. These soils, combined with serious farming, a fairly continental-mediterranean mountain climate, and substantial vine age, lend a rich structure to Gómez Nevado wines, which is contrasted with a tight vibrancy, and a strong savory component, almost bordering on umami – a viscosity and flavour profile not found elsewhere in the land of Sherry or Montilla.
The Gómez Nevado bodega is situated on a hillside at the edge of the town of Villaviciosa de Córdoba, an hour drive from the city of Córdoba, and constructed in the traditional Jerezano style, with high ceilings and windows that open at the top to increase airflow. Here is a rundown of their unique way of producing their wines: The grapes are manually harvested, destemmed, and crushed; they only use the first press juice, which goes into cement vats where the must will settle. Gabriel makes a pied de cuve (read natural yeasts!) from the first grapes harvested to start fermentation, and the must goes to tanks to finish alcoholic fermentation. The wine will then be transferred to old amphora by hand, where the veil of flor forms. The wines are never fortified, and often have a natural alcohol of around 15%. Once the flor develops, the wine goes into a solera: roughly 5 years for the Pálido and up to 15 years for the Dorado. All the Sierra Morena wines are bottled straight from the cask by hand without any type of filtration. The results are true classical wines from La Vieja Andalucia.