Via Arxentea Mencia is a red wine from the DO Monterrei in Galicia, north west Spain. Monterrei is a little known DO that was established in the 1980s, had its DO status suspended, and it was not reinstated until 1994. It is the smallest of the Galician DOs and it has the warmest and driest climate in Galicia. It is located in the Ourense province at the south east of Galicia adjacent to the Portuguese border. Most of the vineyards are located on valley slopes either side of the River Tamega where the soils have a deep red colour and a high clay content.
The winery was founded by Manuel Guerra Just, who had spent many years working for other wineries, decided to branch out on his own. There are only 4 hectares of vineyards producing some 10,000 litres of wine mainly from the white grape varieties Treixadura and Godello alongside some red Mencia grapes. The name “Via Arxentea”, literally translated as “ The Silver Route”, the local name for the important pilgrimage route of El Camino de Santiago to Santiago de Compostela. Manuel Guerra Justo is responsible for everything at Via Arxentea from the vines to the winemaking. Someone who does this is known as a “Colleitero”. There are 1200 cases of white wine and 700 cases of red wine produced with a little assistance from consultant winemaker Alvaro Bueno.
Via Arxentea Mencia is 100% Mencia. Manuel Guerra believes that winemaking begins in the vineyard and the Mencia grapes are highly-selectied from vineyards tightly controlled via green pruning and bunch thinning to obtain low yields and the best quality grapes with concentrated, colour, aromas and taste. Grapes are all harvested by hand from the estate and are fermented using indigenous yeasts. The wine is fermented in stainless steel and undergoes micro-oygenation to soften the tannins.