Emilio Rojo is the fusion between person and vineyard. Viticulturist and visionary (colleiteiro) harvester in his commitment to quality. His emblematic wine comes from a place of exceptional viticultural conditions.
After training as an engineer and working outside his native land, he returned to Galicia and began a new stage of his life as a winegrower. He resumed the work of the small winery that his father had in Arnoia, thus beginning a journey that led him to the now mythical plot that contains one of Spain’s greatest white wines.
In 1987, a small abandoned family vineyard began working in the Avia Valley, which was the legacy of Julia, his wife. A place with extraordinary conditions for viticulture located in Ibedo, Leiro, which was subject to a forum contract until the 1920s and formerly dependent on the San Clodio monastery.
In a traditional location of the great vineyards of Ribeiro, Ibedo is a place name whose etymology is linked to the olive tree. Some can still be seen around the plot, which is quite unusual in the area. The small vineyard, about 12,000 m2, is arranged on several terraces and socalcos, walls that outline the geometry of the terrain.
Emilio Rojo began working the estate with the firm conviction of making a quality, unique and genuine artisan wine based on careful viticulture work. He knew that the fundamental thing to do this was to work the vineyard and opt for the indigenous varieties.
A pioneer of quality Ribeiro and visionary in its concept, he began to plant local grapes, including Lado, a grape that originated in Arnoia but was not planted in the Avia valley at that time. Depending on the variety and its behaviour in the vineyard, the plants were arranged on the terraces to achieve the maximum expression of each variety.
A particularity of the farm is its special microclimate, which protects it from spring frosts. The morning sun sets the rhythm of the cycle of the vines and the work of the land. The vineyard, at an altitude of 180 metres, is planted on “sabrego” soil that is very sandy. It has the unique feature of being very shallow and made up of decomposed granite. In terms of the varieties, 80% of the vineyard is planted with Treixadura, 10% Godello and 10% Lado and Loureira
The Emilio Rojo harvest is decisive. The planning varies each year depending on the behaviour of the vines and natural factors. They are long harvests where the vines are marked, one by one, before harvesting to know which ones must be picked at any given time.
It is not only harvested by variety but vine by vine and type of grape. The ripening controls are constant as well as the grape tasting, and at least two collections are carried out in the vineyard before the end of the harvest.
The grapes are selected exhaustively in the vineyard and the wine is made by day and point of maturity. Processing in the winery is done with minimal intervention, with the actual yeasts being fermented in stainless steel and without any contact with wood. The wine spends 18 months in the winery before going to market.
Emilio Rojo is a vineyard and wine designed to transcend time. It is the essence of its creator and its vineyard. A wine made in harmony with nature and seated on the roots of the vines that faithfully expresses the character of the site.
In 2019 Emilio Rojo decided to pass over the baton of his legacy to Alma Carraovejas to give continuity to his project that he remains directly linked to.
The magic of a unique and inimitable wine
“The secret of wine is to spend hours working the vineyard.” Emilio Rojo.
Emilio began a life devoted to the land and to recovering the historical heritage by climbing up the estate every morning along the roads that surround it. All the work is done by hand, the earth is interfered with as little as possible and each vine is treated with the utmost care. More than 30 years of observation that make an inimitable vineyard magical
One of his obsessions was to achieve a balanced production, with low and steady yields, regardless of the vintage. The pruning system at Emilio Rojo is particularly meagre and the production per vine is five or six clusters. The vineyard work is aimed at achieving a good concentration and ripening of the grapes. The whole vine is bound in a traditional way with vimbios or wicker.