Nieva, Segovia, Rueda, Spain
For the Herrero family, passion and quality terroir distinguishes their Verdejo; a beautifully crisp, dry and fruit driven wine that drinks with the commitment to the work it takes to make something great.
The vision began in the late 80’s for Jose Maria Herrero a few years after DO Rueda had been granted official status (he had played an integral part in making it happen). The vineyards of Rueda had fallen into disrepair after phylloxera (1890-1922) and the replanted vineyards that grew on New World rootstock, had been grafted from lower quality, yet high yielding cuttings to enable farmers bigger crops and faster recovery. An economist’s decision, not a winemaker’s. That is not a recipe that delivers better wine and Jose Maria knew it.
He came from the part of Rueda that had escaped the majority of the phylloxera blight, higher up in the sandy soiled elevations near Segovia. He still had productive pie franco (ungrafted) vineyards and his family’s fortune rested in old vine Verdejo. He saw an opportunity to make a wine of quality that would be far above the standard bulk being produced in the lower elevations’ newly re-planted zones. His particular terroir, the alluvially rich sand with limestone, set in their microclimate of Nieva, at 850m above sea level, inspired a quest and devotion that his family continued to pursue after his death in a tragic accident. He never got to taste the wine he imagined could be made. But his wife and 3 sons did.
To achieve the vision of Jose Maria the Herrero boys had to be creative. At a point where they saw their project in need of some money to improve the standards of equipment in the winery their father began,they sought out an investor who supplied the funding they needed to outfit the old winery with the improvements needed to make the highest quality Verdejo in the D.O. Unfortunately, after a short time, their investor began to see things differently and encouraged the boys to boost production, make more wine, include vineyards of a quality they never previously considered. They expressed their continued desire to produce a Rueda superior, but it fell on deaf ears. So, they exercised their option to be bought out, and left their father’s winery in the hands of the investor but they still owned the vineyards. With the sale of the winery in hand, they walked to the other side of town to build Herrero Bodega. We drink Erre as a result. Dreams do come true.