Country: Méntrida - Spain
If there's been a revolution in Spanish winemaking Dani Landi is one of the chief rebels. He grew up in a family of viticulturists in Méntrida, and made his name with Bodegas Jimenez Landi before setting out on his own projects. The rugged peaks and hilltop towns of the Sierra de Gredos, covered with patches of thick scrub and large granite boulders, were mainly known for producing simple, country wines. Vines cling to scree-slopes like mountain goats, many of these sites were abandoned decades ago, but a new generation of growers is rediscovering them. Dani works around seven hectares of 60-80 year-old vines. The combination of high altitude, free draining soils, and a long growing season gives a unique micro-climate. The winemaking is low intervention: he uses a proportion of whole bunch, large old oak barrels, and minimal extraction, really just steeping the grapes. He makes a 'village' wine called Uvas de la Ira, but also bottles three vineyards separately which each aim to capture the specific landscape and place. “We make landscape wines from the vine without any make-up. Three basic ideas guide our work: minerality, freshness and elegance.” Along with the pioneers of the Priorat, he is redefining what was previously viewed as a workhorse variety into something that can rival the elegance and finesse of some of the world’s most sought after reds.