10 Years of WineLab August 21, 2023
FLC May 2023 - Vive le Vin! June 05, 2023
First Look Club
First Look Club #12 is Live!
Sometimes you hear about a wine and there’s just something magnetic about the story, there’s something that pulls you in and won’t let go. I had heard about Cume do Avia in 2018, incredible wines being made in a remote part of Galicia.
The story goes that 4 cousins had tried to restore their grandparent’s abandoned vineyard by themselves, with no resources to hand bar pure determination, optimism and passion for the project. They replanted their family vineyards in 2013 with a dozen different local varieties - some on the verge of extinction - and with virtually no previous experience dived headfirst into making organic wine in a region where it’s incredibly challenging to do so due to the constant threat of mildew.
In fact, it was this mildew that almost completely wiped out their crop in 2016, just as they were beginning to get their heads around the project. This was close to the final straw, and left Diego as the only cousin with fulltime involvement. I tasted the 2017 wines after hearing the story, and they completely blew me away. They were that remarkable that I travelled to Ribeiro in July 2019 to see what the next vintage looked like.
Diego makes over twenty different wines in what is undoubtedly the smallest winery I’ve ever visited. Their vineyards comprise a huge range of soils, and each parcel is vinified separately (in his grandparent’s garage) so that Diego can learn and understand how the soils influence the quality of the different grapes. Some of these tiny vinifications are of only a few hundred litres. This is painstaking but illuminating work, as the region’s multitude of abandoned vineyards serve as a reminder of the loss of knowledge and expertise about the local grape varieties.
What I proceeded to try were some of the most atypical wines I’ve ever tasted. There was a vitality to the wines that I haven’t experienced anywhere else, and a feeling that Diego and his cousins had imparted their own energy into each glass. Looking back on my tasting notes it’s like someone else wrote them, because they’re filled with descriptors I had never used before. These are not wines that simply taste fruity, or bright. They manage to be both searingly fresh yet powerful at the same time, reminding you of places instead of fruit (as weird as that sounds).
FLC12 is going to be a journey of discovery. We ask that you buckle up and join us with an open mind and a spirit of adventure. Theirs is a classic story of grit and determination against the odds with the very best ending I could imagine.
Boxes are on sale now - we look forward to seeing you on the June 10!