Ismael Gozalo is one of the rising stars on Spain’s natural wine heaven.
He founded Ossian, in the high altitude village Nieva in the Segovia province in 2004, together with Javier Zaccagnini (read about his Ribera del Duero adventures here). Ismael soon went on to work on a smaller scale with his project MicroBio, to make use of his family’s best vineyards the way he wanted.
Some of these are between 100 and 200 years old, pre-phylloxera, at between 800 and 900 meters. These vines have always been grown in an organic way.
Ismael works in a medieval underground cellar in his native Nieva using barrels of different sizes, amphorae, glass demijohns, and stainless steel. He works in a very natural way. His most important goal though, is to let the land speak directly through his wines.
Ismael has two lines of wines: MicroBio Wines and Ismael Gozalo. In both lines he mainly works with the Verdejo. In the first line he produces eight white wines, two Orange wines and a Pet Nat. And it is not only about the diversity but also about the processes used, which could well be called extreme: Vineyards certified in organic agriculture located up to 920 meters in height, manual works in the field and no use of chemicals, and then in the cellar terracotta or clay vessels, big casks and barrels, cold fermentations around 11-13 degrees on the lees that last for months, no battonage, no pumping, no corrections or filtering or sulphurs… He does everything that serves to give his wines a strong character and personality. And the quantity of each wine is limited; almost none reaches 1,000 bottles a year and in many cases less than 500 bottles.