Bodegas Castro Martin stands proudly as a family business still managed on a day-to-day basis by the descendants of its original founder. The Martin-Serantes family have been making wine for generations, albeit initially on a comparatively small scale, supplying mainly friends, family and a few local bars.
Over time, Domingo Martin became very frustrated with the variation in quality of many of the local albariños (much of which could be attributed to the old-fashioned wine making techniques), and so decided to build something a little more state-of-the-art. His new, much larger cellar was constructed in 1981, most significantly, a full six years before the D.O. of Rias Baixas itself was actually created.
This new winery was the very first in the region to be equipped with stainless steel tanks for vinification and wine storage (which, at the time, appeared to be something of an extravagance, but has long-since become the ‘norm’ in modern winemaking). The original tanks have since been modified to include temperature-controlled cooling jackets and a nitrogen system to optimise wine storage conditions.
Domingo also had the foresight to construct the bodega on three different levels – the top level being the grape reception for harvest, the middle level a pressing room, and the lower level for wine making and tank storage. This thoughtful construction allows us to use mostly gravity to move grapes and grape musts around the cellar thus enabling us to handle our precious fruit with the upmost possible care.
The maximum capacity of today’s cellar is some 300,000 litres, but with the grapes from our own 11 hectares of vineyards, and the grapes that we purchase from local growers, our average total production is nearer to 150,000/200,000 litres depending on the harvest.
Innovation and sustainability is always at the forefront of our agenda as we constantly strive to improve the wines that we make. One such example of this is the use of top quality synthetic closures. After many years of testing this choice has proved to be ideal for our style of wine, very much controlling the evolution (in a more predictable way than natural cork) and helping us to capture the freshness and vivacity of albariño in the bottle. Even today we carefully monitor ‘oxygen transmission rate’, always looking for better ways to preserve freshness and help deliver our wine to customers in optimum condition.