This winery, founded in 1973, is currently run by Gerardo Méndez. Gerardo owns 10 hectares, three of which are over 50 years old, and one of which is over 150 years old. The vineyards follow organic guidelines, avoiding the use of pesticides and non-organic fertilizers. In addition, Gerardo is devoted to the use of indigenous yeasts believing that through their usage the true qualities of
his terruño can appear. Gerardo farms over 175 plots of albariño, all located in the sub-zone of Salnès. This valley’s proximity to the ocean and protection by mountain ranges has gained it the reputation for being the best area in Rías Baixas for viticulture. The blend of Gerardo’s plots is what makes up the Do Ferreiro Albariño.
The Cepas Vellas is from Gerardo’s historic 1.5 hectare plot of 150+ years old Albarino vines. These vines are planted on a hillside vineyard of mainly sandy (broken granite) composition. The vines are planted in the traditional elevated pergola supported by 8 foot cut granite pilings. The “vines” are so old they resemble thick barked trees more than vines. The grapes are de-stemmed and cold-soaked for 5 hours before fermentation. Fermentation with indigenous yeasts occurs in stainless steel tanks, followed by 11 months of extended aging on the lees. No oak is used.
“There is another phenomenal vintage in the 2017 Albariño Cepas Vellas. This is a very regular vineyard that delivers very complex wines year in, year out, and according to Manuel Méndez, “in difficult years, it behaves better than any other vineyard.” We’re talking about ancient, ungrafted, pergola-trained vines around the winery—1.5 hectares of gnarled, incredible vines that are up to 150 years of age. This is very complete, and there is a touch more complexity and depth when tasted next to the 2016. The nose is quite similar and is both undeveloped and young, with notes of freshly cut grass, white flowers and wet granite. It has an electric palate with tasty flavors and a saline, tasty finish. This should make beautiful old bones. I tasted the 2011 next to it, and this wine has years ahead of it. 8,000 bottles were filled in September 2018. – 95 points, Wine Advocate (Luis Gutierrez – February 28, 2019)
I tasted mostly the 2016 and 2017 vintages from Do Ferrreiro. 2017 was one of the earliest harvests ever, and they started harvesting on August 30th, which is completely unusual. The wines from 2017 do not reflect the heat, and they have less alcohol and more acidity that the 2016s. Gerardo Méndez compares 2017 to 1990. He and his son Manuel compare 2016 to 2011, a vintage that is developing much better than expected; 2016 was a very large crop that was dismissed at first, but the wines are evolving very nicely. So, we might have to wait for the 2016s. Today, I give the edge to their 2017s.”