As a younger woman in the wine industry, Veronica Ortega is stirring things up and quickly making her mark. Originally from Cadiz, she spent her early carrier working with Daphne Glorian and Alvaro Palacios in Priorat, then for 5 years in France at wineries such as Domaine Romanée-Conti, Compte Armand, and d'Yquem. She then returned to Spain and discovered the region of Bierzo while working with the famed Raul Perez.
"Located in the Northwest of Spain, Bierzo has an old winegrowing tradition. The wine culture is deeply rooted in its people, which makes everything revolve around wine. Its geographical location has a strong Atlantic influence with great soil diversity, and the old vineyards are highly valued as a source of good-quality grapes. The main local variety, Mencía, is the trademark of the area and shapes the identity of Bierzo as a wine-producing region.
It’s noble enough to make single-varietal wines. It is an honest grape that reflects any excess or defect in winemaking pushing me to seek a perfect balance. It can communicate perfectly what the French call terroir, because it displays differences in terms of soil or microclimate, just like Pinot Noir or Garnacha.
I would summarize my work philosophy as minimal intervention. I try to work with the best possible raw materials and try not to force anything but I do control some factors to avoid any deviation. My main goal is to make wines with an identity that reflects where they come from. I like to think that my wines are lively, elegant, and can tell people about Bierzo. And with all of this, allowing them to flow as naturally as possible." Veronica Ortega, The Vintner Project
Veronica organically farms several small old vine plots of 80 year-old Mencia in Valtuille de Abajo which on closer inspection reveal small percentages of other local indigenous varieties both red and white. The soil has a high proportion of sand with give the wines aromatic complexity. All harvesting is done by hand.