A Portela - meaning "a Doorstep to heaven" - is the name of the high elevation 12-acre hill located in the town of Larouco in the autonomous region of Galicia, where the Mencía vines that make this profound mineral wine come from. The vines were planted from 1976 - 1990 and grow on clay, granite and slate soil at an altitude of 500 - 700 m (1,640 - 2,625 ft).
After harvest, the skins mix with the unfermented juice for five days at 45F. This pre-fermentation “cold soak” enhances the wines aromas, color and flavor. Once fermentation has taken place, the skins spend another 10 days in tanks to extract all beneficial colors and tannins. The wine is aged 12 months in stainless steel tanks plus another 8 months in French oak barrels. This is a vegan wine.
The vineyards are located in the autonomous region of Galicia, in far northwestern Celtic Spain, within the Valdeorras DO (Zone 1) in Valdeorras district and within Ourense province. The vineyards are in the mountain town of Larouco, at 1,640 ft elevation. The soil is composed of slate and granite topsoil with a thin clay subsoil. This soil profile is poor in organic matter and the vines yield 2.5 kg (about 6 pounds) of grapes per vine, compared to the average of 7.5 kg (around 17 pounds) per vine in Valdeorras. The surface of the granite and slate soil is warmed by sunlight during the day and provides heat to the roots, which encourages the grapes to continue ripening during the cool nights. The area's climate has an average temperature from April-October of 64.4F, among the lowest average temperatures in Spain, with 32 inches of yearly rainfall. The cool temperatures of this Atlantic-influenced climate (Zone 1) provide a longer ripening period, which results in bright wines with great aromatic expression.