Isaac Cantalapiedra

The Cantalapiedras descend from several generations of winegrowers working in the municipality of La Seca, a dusty town of 1,000 people that is considered to be the heart of the Rueda appellation. While most producers in the region have embraced the ultra-modern styles of Verdejo (high yields, machine harvesting, selected yeasts, cold fermentation, heavy filtration, and copious amounts of sulfur) to make an internationally appealing wine, the Cantalapiedras have taken a decidedly different approach. Although there are records of the Cantalapiedras’ grape-growing dating to the 19th century, the birth of the current estate can be traced to 1949 when patriarch Heliodoro planted his first vineyard plot at the age of 15. For many years, Heliodoro’s son Isaac worked alongside him, and together they built a 20ha domaine that is now certified organic. In the past, they sold the bulk of their grape production to larger producers in the area. It is with the third generation – Helio has since passed away and Isaac’s son Manuel has joined – that the family has established a small cellar of their own, bottling their first vintage in 2014. Being farmers first, they strive to go beyond organic and incorporate many biodynamic practices into their viticulture. Their grapes are often times harvested later than other producers in the region, and they keep about 7ha of their vines to vinify themselves, selling the rest to the old relationships of the family. In the cellar, Manuel utilizes wild yeasts for fermentation, minimal amounts of sulfur, and no other additions. They produce a wide range of wines, from more soil-driven, single-plot wines, to flor-aged wines (historically traditional for the region), as well as skin-contact wines and pét-nats with no added SO2. These are winegrowers who promise to be dynamic and forward thinking. Given the excellent quality of the wines right out of the gate, we are beyond excited to see what the future holds for Manuel and Isaac Cantalapiedra.