Salnes, in the heart of Galicia’s Rias Baixas region, has a tradition of using vineyard posts made from granite, the local rock. This, combined with the cool maritime climate, produces wines with crisp minerality and elegant fruit.

Salnes, in the heart of Galicia’s Rias Baixas region, has a tradition of using vineyard posts made from granite, the local rock. This, combined with the cool maritime climate, produces wines with crisp minerality and elegant fruit.

The Past

Each with 35 years experience in the wine trade; Kim in senior financial management of large Northern Californian Wineries (Beringer, Clos du Bois & Sterling/Seagram Classics); Robert in UK retail (Oddbins & Bibendum), then winery work in CA (Saintsbury, Murphy Goode& Peter Michael Winery) and Burgundy (Meo-Camuzet, Clos des Epeneaux & Roulot in Meursault).

Owned and operated Domaine du Poujol, Languedoc, France for 22 years. 10-15ha vineyard producing 40000 – 60000 bottles/year, 80% exported to 13 different countries. Produced without any outside consultants, technicians or enologists from the 2003 vintage when Poujol was first listed in the Revue de Vins des France’s classement guide book.

The Present

Our love of Albariño wines led us to relocate to Rias Baixas after selling Poujol. Our experience of reductive winemaking at Poujol has led us to favour the use of oxidative vessels (wood, concrete, clay, etc) during the vinification and we were thrilled to be able to buy some 2016 wine vinified in a 2500L oak foudre. We blended in Albariño sourced from two different wineries to produce the expression that we were looking for; balanced with finesse and freshness and a hint of oak that supports the fruit.

The rose, produced with a small, high quality Salnes producer, is pioneering this type of wine in Rias Baixas – as yet, it’s not even in the DO. Rose was a specialty for us when at Poujol and we have applied our experience from there in this project. 2017 was only the first vintage, and as with all pioneering projects, there is a learning curve involved, but we think that Rias Baixas has great potential for rose.

Our aim with both wines is too produce wines with great purity, meaning both in their expression of the fruit of their origin (Salnes) and of the wine itself. Although we have produced wines that could be classified as Natural Wines between 2000 & 2005, we’re more interested in the process and minimalizing chemical inputs rather than a dogmatic elimination of modern enological products. This attitude has led us to favour reductive winemaking techniques, but to ferment and age in porous vessels to avoid reduction in the finished wine. Such vessels help to naturally stabilize a wine reducing the need for manipulation when preparing the wine for bottle. We are also able to bottle with lower levels of SO2.

The Name
Although many areas use overhead trellising for vineyards, Salnes is unique in its use of posts cut from the local bedrock, granite, for trellising.

The Future

We would like to keep production relatively small, but eventually grow to a 25000 – 40000 bottle volume making only a single cuvee each of Albariño and Rose.