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This region is quite unique, tucked between, and protected by, the southern fringes of the Cantabrian mountains and the Aquiliano hills. Centred by Ponferrada, the Rio Sil valley is open, with gentle hilly countryside, surrounded by high mountains. The ideal contemplative picnic spot for weary pilgrims on their way to Santiago.

The DO region of Bierzo occupies its own little micro-climate, sharing features of those around it. For example, a slight Atlantic influence, like the Galician regions to the west, or the frost-fighting warmth of more continentally influenced regions to the south-east. Albeit at lower altitude than those of La Meseta.

Old bush vines of Mencía proliferate on a mixture of mainly limestone soils, but also with pockets of schist and clay. It’s families such as the Ysart Alvarez de Toledo siblings who maintain these vines alongside their family’s heritage at Cantariña.