The grapes to produce the “Lacima” Red Ribeira Sacra Dominio do Bibei were hand picked in 10kg cases. First bunch selection took place at the vineyard, followed by cold storage for 24 hours, followed by further sorting grape by grape at the winery. The grapes were then destemmed and fermented using wild yeast in 500 litre French barrels, with daily punch downs and long post-fermentation maceration. The wine was aged for 18 months in French barrels (between 2 and 4 years old) and then aged in bottle for a minimum of 16 months.
Vines are grown at varying altitudes from 300 to 700 metres, with loamy-sandy soils with an abundance of disaggregated shales and slates as well as granite. The vines are low yielding, trained to the goblet system and aged between 60 to 110 years old. The region’s Atlantic climate, with an average annual rainfall of 700mm mostly concentrated in the winter and spring months, helps retain freshness and acidity in the fruit.
Since his first vintage in 2001, Javier Dominguez’s Dominio do Bibei has been widely acknowledged as the driving force behind the emergence of quality wines in Spain’s historic Ribeira Sacra. In the late 1990s, Javier Dominguez family bought land in the Bibei valley, Ribeira’s most easterly sub-region, and today they own a 140 hectare estate, of which 45 hectares are planted with vines. Since then, he has worked tirelessly to revive the region and its indigenous vines, undertaking what is known locally as ‘heroic viticulture’. There are far easier places to make wine than in Ribeira Sacra. But Javier Dominguez, along with his consultant winemakers, Priorat’s Sara Pérez and René Barbier, are united in a common belief in this spectacular landscape, its ancient character and, most of all, its capacity to produce Spain’s most distinctive wines.