Julian Ruiz Villanueva
Spain’s most widely planted white variety due to its use as a base for Brandy de Jerez is airén. Long considered to make dull uninspiring wine (making it ideal for distillation), Julian blows that thinking clear out of the water.
He farms 50 hectares of airén, tempranillo and tinto velasco (otherwise known as garnacha tintorera) organically with some biodynamic principles, his vines are un-grafted, unirrigated old bush vines, with no mechanisation at all, wines are merely coarse filtered and have a small amount of sulphur at bottling only.
His whites from Airén employ long periods of skin contact, with the de Sol a Sol spending an incredible fourteen months on skins.