After 30 years as technical director and world–renown winemaker for Vega Sicilia, Mariano Garcia Fernández founded Aalto Bodegas y Viñedos in 1999. From the beginning, he has been guided by three principles: old-vine, massale selection Tinto Fino, a wide range of terroirs spread over nine villages in Ribera del Duero, and his decades of experience in viticulture and winemaking in the region. The soils where Aalto’s vineyards are situated include pale clay-limestone, ferrous clay, sand, sandstone, rocky glacial, loam, and alluvial. This diversity of terruño provides complexity married to power and structure blended with a purity of fruit – the exact characteristics which have earned Aalto praise from around the world as the leading proponent of the modern style of Ribera del Duero.
Fermentations are conducted, by parcel, in stainless steel, cement, or oak vats. Maceration is gentle with regular pumpovers ensuring a good extraction of fruit without harsh or bitter tannins. Once the fermentation is complete, the wines are racked, by gravity, into French and American oak barrels located in a cool, subterranean cellar. In recent vintages, Mariano has reduced the amount of new oak he uses in the aging of his wines and the time they spend in barrel – small, incremental steps to add more freshness and purity in his wines.