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Altos de Losada in the opening panel of 25th Aniversary of Wones From Spain Great Match of New York

Steve Metzler introduced Altos de Losada 2016 in the context of Atlantic style wines


17 de de 2018


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Steve Metzler, founder and co-owner of Classical Wines with his wife Almudena de Llaguno, participated in the opening panel discussion of the 25th Anniversary of Wines from Spain #SpainsGreatMatch NY.
Here are some comments of his, reflecting on the beginning of his more than 40 years in the Spanish wine industry:

My career in wine parallels the renaissance of Spain in the post-Franco era, beginning in 1976. In that year, Spain’s first glossy gastronomical magazine (Club des Gourmets) debuted, and Hugh Johnson’s World Atlas was published in paperback (we stacked that 100 at a time, $7.99 a copy), enabling virtual travel to the wine country.

Remember Spain had dropped off the map following the Civil War and remained hidden during the advent of mass media in the 20th Century. Meanwhile American servicemen came home from tours in France, Germany and Italy and brought awareness of those wines to the American public.

Spain was fascinating not for the wines we were able to taste at the time, but for their theoretical quality based on a study of the conditions responsible for fine northern European wines. Wagner’s Line separating Atlantic from Mediterranean climate zones was an early inspiration, and I adapted this in Spain with a broad arc I called ‘The Quality Crescent’, leading to my first solo itinerary in 1983 (also to the discovery of multiple DOs prior to their inception). Of course, this arc had to include Sanlúcar de Barrameda and its inimitable Manzanilla, reputed to be best drunk only in its region of production—a reputation shared with Albariño at the time.

We spent the 80s and into the 90s reacquainting the markets with the fact that Spain was an integral part of Europe and European winemaking history. Our SWE and WSET lectures of those years focused on geography (latitude and altitude) and history to support.


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