Rafael Palacios | Valdeorras

Rafael Palacios vineyards in the Val do Bibei of Valdeorras, Galicia

Since starting his own winery in 2004, Rafael Palacios has fast become one of Spain’s pre-eminent producers of white wine. His 32 parcels of Godello, which are spread over 19.5 hectares in the Val do Bibei in Valdeorras, Galicia, produce some of Spain’s most interesting white wines. The vines cohabit with the rocks and stones that define the landscape. Sandy soils, derived from decomposed granite, limit vine vigour and the high altitudes (from 580 to 720 metres above sea level) ensure marked diurnal variation and a long growing season.

The hills are so steep that most of the vineyards are planted on terraces buttressed by stones. Rafa’s viticulture is sensitive to the fragile nature of these old terraces, and he has adapted his approach to ensure these magnificent structures are preserved. His viticulture is low-intervention, with some of the older plots (or ‘sortes’ in Galician) being farmed biodynamically.

Rafa makes four cuvées from the sandy, granitic soils of the Val do Bibei - O Bolo, Louro, As Sortes and Sorte O Soro - all of which showcase his talent in creating some of the most exciting white wine in Spain.