The Pazo San Mauro winery, located in DO Rias Baixas, was acquired in 2003 by Marqués
de Vargas Family Wines & Estates from Rioja. Since then, the new owners have invested
heavily in both the restoration of its magnificent buildings and the
construction of a new wine cellar, with the most advanced technologies for the
finest production of wine. The winery produces two white wines from the Albariño grape; all grapes are grown in the estate's own vineyards.
The Pazo (or manor house) that
overlooks the property is located in
the parish of San Pablo de Porto, part of the town of Salvaterra do Miño. Built
in 1591, shortly after the chapel that was erected in 1582 in honor of San
Mauro, or San Amaro, the Pazo was the main
Pereira do Castro, a descendant of King Sancho I of Portugal. Two
magnificent family coat of arms hang in the chapel to attest to the family's noble history. Vine cultivation has always been intimately linked to the history of the
Pazo. The remains of an old winepress can be found in the building, proving that
wine was already being made in the Pazo in the 16th Century.The first modern bodega was built in 1988, when Pazo San Mauro was formally established.
The 75-acre estate is situated in a privileged location for the
cultivation of the grape vine attributable to optimal soil conditions, an
exceptional micro-climate, midday sunlight exposure and protection from northern
winds. The Condado do Tea, where the winery is located, is the most southern
area and therefore the sunniest. Because of this, a more complete and early
maturity is achieved here, where harvesting can be carried out 15 to 20 days
earlier and the required degree of alcohol can be guaranteed. The vines are planted in descending terraces
towards the Miño River, creating a natural amphitheater facing south with extraordinary sunlight. The river stones
on the hillsides and the alluvial soil on the riverbanks allow for the optimal cultivation of different varieties. Although the majority
of the vines are Albariño, there are plantings of other white varieties, such as Loureiro, Treixadura and Torrontés. The grapes are grown on
trellises in restricted production and are exposed to optimal ventilation,
resulting in the highest quality fruit. The average vine age is 30 years.
During the harvest, we practice a
rigorous selection of grapes, sourced exclusively from our estate vineyards.
They are handpicked in 44 pound boxes. Once harvested, the
stalks are removed and a cold maceration
is carried out during which time the skins are in contact with the must for
several hours in order to extract the highest degree of aromas. This is
followed by a fermentation of 15 days in stainless steel tanks at 62-64ºF.
One of the wines produced in the winery (Sanamaro) is put
through a process of “sur lie” and “bâtonnage”, in which the lees are in
contact with the wine for several months in stainless steel tanks with frequent stirring. The
result is a more complex wine with an oily texture.