Ourense, Galicia

Cume do Avia


The tribe behind Cume do Avia have done nothing but a tremendous favor to the world of wine. With their strong contribution on rewake some of the more ancient wine culture lost in the shuffle of the twentieth century’s wars they are now offering modern Ribeiran wines speaking the true dialect of their terroir. 

The Collarte brothers, Diego and Álvaro, and cousins Anxo and Fito, grew up in Spain’s northwest corner, in the hubbub city of Vigo. To them the metropolitan lifestyle never felt true to heart so in their early twenties, in 2005, the family crew decided to reevaluate their living and steer their life into a more fulfilling direction. They decided to put their youth into the project of arouse their grandparents Galician abandoned land, situated in Ribadavia, under-brushed and untouched for over 60 years, and set off into wine making. To some a completely irrational adventure.

Been pushed to the brink of financial ruin, surrounded by clouds of anxiety and doubt and supplemental work really tested their relationships with each other and many of their loved ones. Three laboursome years followed to clear the land and replant it with indigenous, lost to history, varieties of Ribeiro: Caiño Longo, Brancellao, Sousón, Treixadura, just to name a few. The “first-time-ever” vinification took place 2012 in their grandparent’s old garage, today turned winery. 

The geographic coordinates of their location have played to the quality of their wines: the closeness of the vineyard to the Atlantic Ocean; the south and west facing orientation maximizing the sun’s heat in the otherwise cold region; bold winds bringing in fresh air helping the grapes to stay dry and pest free. A most fitting spot with its lush green landscape for their biodynamic practices. 

Digging in their fertilize free nine hectares of land the soil is rich and extremely(!) diverse. Within a couple of meters it can quickly change from granite to schist to slate; the grain rapidly shifting between sand and clay. This is undeniably factors adding breadth, texture and complexity to the wines, still remaining lithe in style.

They make wine in a hands-off style with a large portion of gently handed whole cluster. Old, restored chestnut barrels are mainly used for aging and the outcome of the wines are always package with freshness, hits you with energy, embrace you with perfume and rarely hits over 11,5% of alcohol. 

In the great end, or more correctly the upswing, the story of Cume do Avia is a moving one. It’s a true example of, that in terms of taking risks, no family wealth, learning by doing and disputes the great outcome of pure passion, hard work and longing for happiness really pays off. A thrill of discovery from the determinate quartet clan!