Campo de Borja DO is nick-named “The Empire of Garnacha”. As far as empires go, it flies a little under the radar. A small number of wineries operate here, many as co-operatives that produce a little olive oil and a few crops along with their vines. That approach to wine-making has deep roots, established by enologist monks as early as the 11th century. Indeed, winemaking pre-dates some of the DO’s best known figures: the famous Renaissance Borgia clan held the region, as did the noble family of Aragon.
For such prestigious pedigree, it is an undeniably harsh landscape. Dry and hot, winters can be frigid. In addition to Garnacha, which is native to the DO, Syrah has found a unique expression here. With its long growing season, Garnacha benefits from the sun and heat that characterize this area. A sturdy grape, it can withstand the cierzo, a strong wind that blows through the Ebro Valley. Syrah shares many of Garnacha’s qualities; as in Côtes du Rhône, they partner well. Consider them ideal travelling companions.
The approach to wine-making at Penélope Sánchez is hands-off. These are wines to drink young, wines that capture the joy, easy passion, and good living of Spain.