Garnacha - Castillo de Belarfonso - Bodegas Canopy - Toledo - Spain
An amalgam of the two founders' names complete with its own bouncy castle, a tongue-in-cheek reference to France's 'grand vins' and their imposing chateaux. 100% old vine Grenache from the granitic soils of El Real de San Vicente. Very much a 'vin de soif' but not at the expense of complexity, thanks to 6 months in French oak.
Founded in 2004 by Belarmino Fernandez and Alfonso Chacon, Canopy has (quite unassumingly) played a significant role in helping the wider world to appreciate what the 'New Spain' is capable of – Michel Bettane even went so far as to acknowledge them as 'architects of the Spanish renassiance'. Belarmino and Alfonso are self-confessed 'terroir obsessives', driven by a desire to bottle the unique characteristics of their little corner of Sierra de Gredos.
All the wines are foot-trodden and sulphur is kept to an absolute minimum. The philosophy is fundamentally sustainable and organic in practice, but not to the point of certification nor is it bound by particular strictures. As Alfonso puts it, 'There's no need to use alternative vine growing methods like biodynamics. We can make honest wines in Gredos; we only need what nature gives us. Soils, landscape and Garnacha's clonal diversity are really interesting. You get wines that smell of thyme, lavender… the kind of plants that grow around here”.