It’s hard to believe that one of the most respected wineries in Spain’s Manchuela wine region was established by a 23-year-old, driven by a passion for the land and for the rising tide of natural viticulture that is spreading across Europe at the moment. Because Ponce (pronounced ‘pon-thay’) is exactly that: a project borne of passion and dedication, and a determination to bring some of Spain’s lesser known grape varietals and terroirs to the world’s attention.
For Juan Antonio Ponce - the young winemaker in question - the natural approach is the only one that will allow him to reach the kind of expression he is after. This means working biodynamically with his vines, but it also means going the extra mile; using only grapes native to his region (the fascinating and underrated Bobal varietal, along with the more widely known Monastrell), refusing to trellis or train his vines, avoiding irrigation, and completely eschewing chemical intervention.
On top of this, Ponce’s wines are fermented with whole bunches in a method which was once traditional in Spain, but which is now mostly forgotten, and foot-trodden in small vats - something which always sounds like great fun to us.
The result is a set of wines which are a world away from Spain’s more renowned, refined and homogeneous bottles, but which have a lot to say about a particular time and place, and which are inextricably connected to a singular vision.
Ponce wines are an introduction to a new direction in Spanish wine production, and which are blazing a new trail for Manchuela and Spain as a whole.
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