“My family was always linked to viticulture and I felt that call, because working in the vineyard I’m a happy person”. This is what Rogelio Moral Calvo tells us, a successful businessman in Switzerland in the construction and hospitality sectors who decided, with the support of the family, to return and follow his inner calling: to recover the vineyards in his native village, in Entoma, in the municipality of O Barco de Valdeorras.
Rogelio’s intention was to plant a few modern vines and build a winery stocked with the latest innovations, inspired in those he had seen in his travels through France, Italy and Switzerland. The first thing was to join together the land to get a profitable surface area, and this was the most difficult task: “I was starting off with century-old vines from my grandparents Ángel and Delfina and I had to go buying plots from 150 different owners to be able to put together 18 hectares, you imagine the work!”.
Finally, in 2005 he merged the inherited farms with the new vineyards, designed by taking advantage of the contours of the land. It was in this way how Bodega Roandi was created, an acronym of the names of his grandchildren (Rogelio, Ángel and Diego), which, together with his son, José Luis, are incorporated into the winery. On the vines, located on terraces, they carry out traditional viticulture, with the minimum use of pesticides and with mechanical tillage so as not to use herbicides. “We are in Entoma, 525 metres high, in optimum conditions for the vine cultivation, which reduces the incidence of fungal diseases, so that we have to apply no more than three treatments per year,” says Rogelio.
“They are committed to recovering the Pan de Carne variety, a red variety native to the area.”
The new plots are 50% planted with red wine varieties (Mencia, Sousón, Albarello and Tempranillo) and white, mainly, Godello, the most important Designation of Origin variety. Above the modern winery, located underground and equipped with the latest technology, they have planned to plant a new 3 hectare plot with the Godello and Pan de Carne varieties, a variety native to the region and the western part of Bierzo that Bodega Roandi is willing to showcase.
In 2009 Bodega Roandi launched its first wines on the market that, in the words of Rogelio, are characterised by “a marked minerality that is provided by the slaty and clay soils with a balance of acidity and alcohol that make them cool and pleasant on the palate, ideal to accompany a meal
In total, 18 hectares of vineyards produce some 150,000 kilos of grapes per year, with regular harvests thanks to the good soil and climatic conditions of the terrain. Something more than 100,000 bottles per year come to market from this fruit.
A wide range of different wines
Under the direction of the winemaker Manuel Losada Arias, Bodegas Roandi stands out for being one of the most innovative of the Valdeorras Designation of Origin, backing differentiated winemaking by plots and limited editions.
Its most classical range is made up from “Doña Defina Godello”, a tribute to the family’s matriarch, which transmits a rich variety of olfactory sensations and on the palate. “Alento de Roandi” is a further step in this differentiation: a varietal and expressive wine that comes from the old vines of Godello grapes, aged for six months in American oak barrels and stored for three months in the bottle before going on sale. “Bancales” is the most emblematic wine of the winery: a blend of 85% Mencia, while the rest of the Galician varieties are Sousón and Albarello. The aging process is performed for 6 months in American and French oak barrels, and has been distinguished as one of the best red wines in Galicia.
“Flavia” is another of Bodega Roandi’s products that go for this differentiation: it is made from Mencia grapes with a touch of Tempranillo, from the new plantations. The aging in American oak barrels, varies from three to five months, and also receives a period of aging in the bottle.
The opposite is found in “Domus”, made from selected Sousón, Albarello and Mencia grapes from the oldest vines, some of them already centuries old. It is aged 12 months in American and French oak barrels.
Pioneers in the development of sparkling wines in Galicia
Bodegas Roandi is perhaps the Galician winery that has been most committed to sparkling wines, both in quantity, as especially in variety. This is the fifth year that they will be present in the market with no less than three varieties: Brinde de Rosas, the first Galician sparkling rose wine, made from the Mencía and Albarello varieties; Brinde de Éntoma, a sparkling red wine made from Mencía and Sousón, and Brinde de Roandi, a white sparkling wine made from 100% Godello grapes.
“In total, we sell 10,000 bottles of white wine, 5,000 of rosé and 2,000 of red, which accounts for around 20% of the winery’s production,” says Rogelio Moral.
The fermentation and resting process lasts about 12 months in these three sparkling wines. However, this year Bodega Roandi has planned to launch the first Brinde Reserva on the market, a sparkling wine that has been stored for 3 years and about 15,000 bottles will be put on sale.
“Brinde Reserva will be released this Christmas for the first time-to-market”
The offer of Bodega Roandi is completed with the Doña Delfina Rosado, a coupage of Mencia, Sousón and Albarello varieties. With regards to the market, the majority of the production is sold in Galicia and in major Spanish cities, but it is also exported to Italy and Switzerland. “It has been very well received, especially the Brinde Rosado and we see that quality sparkling wines are a growing market, mainly among young people, and they are no longer limited to Christmas and to being served after meals says Rogelio.
Differentiation, innovation and tradition are combined in this family winery dreamt up by Rogelio while he was an emigrant and in which, at 66 years old, he says: “I hope to be able to continue working for many years because it is where I feel happy.”