Bodegas y Viñedos Mengoba is led by Grégory Pérez, a terroir-focused winemaker seen as one of the most forward thinking winemakers in Spain according to his peers. A Bordeaux native, Pérez’s career launched with Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste, and he also worked at Château Cos d’Estournel during and after his studies at the Bordeaux-Blanquefort School of Enology and Viticulture between 1997 and 2000. Pérez went to Bierzo in Spain on the advice of his friend where he worked for several years before establishing Mengoba in 2007. He also established a second label, Brezo, for the wines he makes as a negociant, still guided by the same principles of amplifying terroir, biodiversity, and traditional winemaking.
The steeply sloped vineyards are situated at the head of River Cúa in the town of Espanillo ranging 600 to 850 meters above sea level. Pérez deeply committed to the treatment of vineyards based on holistic and ethical principles. He only grows native varietals that evolved to grow on the various soils of his vineyard plots and uses the native yeasts that come out of those plots. The clay and decomposed slate soils are plowed, dug up, piled and aerated to enhance the health and biodiversity of the earth. He also strictly limits the use of fertilizers, though exclusively organic, and never uses herbicides. Pérez has a strong belief in protecting the biodiversity of his land. The presence of various bees and surrounding vegetation are a testament to the viability of the vineyards’ ecosystems. For Pérez, any treatment must be proportionate to the level of threat or harm that could affect the fruit or finished wine, so he prefers to manually select fruit during harvest to ensure that only the best fruit is makes it to the cellar. The winery is in San Juan de Carracedo near the Monastery of Saint Mary of Carracedo, a semi-restored twelfth century monastery near the Camino de Santiago. Pérez’s cellar contains a mix of steel tanks, foudres, and French oak barrels. His goal is to great a wine that is authentic. To this end, he vinifies in a non-interventionist manner that allows the origin to shine through.