Iago Garrido


VigneronIago Garrido
LocationSan Clodio (Ourense)
Size of Domaine4 ha
TerroirAtlantic climate with continental influences. Granite and gneiss with 'jable' (granitic sand). Stony terraces on 100m height difference. SE exposition. 300m altitude.
ViticultureCertified biodynamic (Demeter)
View Augalevada wines ↓

We were introduced to Iago Garrido by his friend Laura Lorenzo – Daterra Viticultores – the encounter occurred during the Vitis Vinifera wine fair and Cuvée 3000 anniversary in Barcelona (2017).

His wine’s energy and digestibility struck us: a welcome 'pick me up' towards the end of a day of fiesta, tasting, drinking and eating. When meeting Iago, one can easily draw a parallel between his sensitivity and humility with the astonishing purity of his wines.

Fazenda Augalevada

Fazenda Augalevada is tucked in a valley neighbouring an ancient 'monasterio' (San Clodio), it takes its name from a stream passing through the land ('augalevada' translates as 'carried water' in Gallego).

Located north of the Ribeiro DO, in the Rioboó zone (once famous for its red wines), the area is not far from the stunning Avia river – when reaching the farm for the first time, the beauty of this wild piece of land is striking, it's easy to understand why Iago fell in love with this unique terroir. Just over 4ha of abandoned terraces were purchased, he single-handedly cleared them from the invading forest, planted vines on the granitic slopes, and completed the build of a state-of-the-art winery in 2009.

Having studied agricultural engineering, Iago became fascinated with permaculture at a young age – Augalevada is the first biodynamic certified winery in the history of Ribeiro – Galician goats chew on the lush grass, chickens roam through the vines while diverse orchard trees and a vegetable patch feed the Garrido family.

The stream crossing the slope is an undeniable advantage in this warm area, it creates a cool airflow during the hot summers preserving acidity in the grapes and finished wines. Still, Iago grew disappointed by the monolithic expression of the godello and treixadura he first planted, he decided to start over again and re-grafted using agudelo – a variety the elders long thought to be a strain of chenin, it was actually confirmed by DNA analysis (cf. Wine Grapes, 2012). He also added more red varieties to the field blend (currently around 40%) with brancellao, sousón, caiño da tierra and caiño longo.

Only two bottlings are made from Augalevada's vines: the white Ollos de Roque and the red Ollos de Maia (first release with the 2022 vintage). Iago is also renowned for his Mercenario range: these are wines made from grapes bought from like-minded growers in different vineyards of Galicia.

A tinaja buried in the middle of the vineyard
Iago with his friend and local vigneron Pablo Soldavini

The cellar was built digging into the granitic hill over three floors, allowing for gravity during winemaking. Iago ages his wines in old 300, 500, and 600ltr barrels – oak from different French 'tonneliers' as well as Stockinger, local chesnut, and some 50yo 'roble americano' from Jerez. He also uses 400ltr 'tinajas' made by the master Juan Padilla (Villarrobledo), they're buried underground in the cellar basement. Each amphora and barrique develop its flor (pretty thick in some cases) which brings out singular traits to the different wines increasing complexity in the final blends. SO2 is only added pre-bottling reaching a low 20-25mg/l total, and the wines are not fined or filtered.

Augalevada is one of the most progressive wineries in the whole of Spain working on the restitution of a historical prime terroir. We are convinced that Iago’s sensitivity towards nature and attention to detail in the cellar will take him far.

The underground cellar and the buried tinajas
Pulpo a feira!
Iago collecting water from the stream for us
Augalevada 1 3

Augalevada Wines

Treixadura, Albariño, Palomino, Godello, Caíño Branco, Torrontés, Lado
Treixadura, Albariño, Palomino, Godello, Caíño Branco, Torrontés, Lado (12% alc.)
(12% alc.)

The wines labelled Mercenario are made from grapes bought from like-minded growers practising sustainable farming. Vineyards are on decomposed granite soils throughout the Ribeiro DO on the banks of the Miño, Avia and Arnoia rivers. The different varieties are directly pressed, native yeasts trigger fermentation in stainless steel before transfer into barrels and tinajas (see profile). Texture and sapidity characterise this Mercenario, its well-integrated VA and savouriness make a convincing case for umami in wine.

Parcela O Balado
80% Doña Branca, 20% Palomino, Treixadura, Godello, Torrontés
80% Doña Branca, 20% Palomino, Treixadura, Godello, Torrontés (12% alc.)
(12% alc.)

One of Iago’s Mercenario wines, Parcela O Balado is a 80yo single vineyard in the Monterrei DO – a sandy south-facing plot overlooking the Alberellos river – the grapes come from the kind and generous José Luis Mateo of Quinta da Muradella. Fermentation in stainless steel and 10 months ageing in old chestnut barrels. This wine is built around texture with doña branca bringing its typical moreish richness and bitters.

100% Albariño
100% Albariño (12% alc.)
(12% alc.)

This year the 'crianza biolóxica' (ageing under flor) comes from Parcela Eiravedra, a single vineyard in Rías Baixas (Val do Salnés) – Iago gets the grapes thanks to his well-connected friend Xurxo Alba (Albamar). Fermentation in stainless steel, transfer into 500ltr and 600ltr barrels in which Iago adds 5% of wine from 'la madre' – a buried tinaja under a thick layer of flor started off in 2011. A 12 month ageing under flor follows. This is an amazing bottling worth serving blind among Jura wines 'elevés sous voile' and other Vin Jaunes...

60% Treixadura, 20% Lado, 20% Agudelo
60% Treixadura, 20% Lado, 20% Agudelo (12% alc.)
(12% alc.)

Ollos de Roque translates as Roque's eyes in Gallego – Roque being Iago's son. This is the jewel in the crown made from Augalevada's own grapes as opposed to the Mercenario wines. Iago planted the vines in 2009 and decided to re-graft some of them (see profile) with lado as well as the promising agudelo – a chenin cultivar brought by the monks via the Camino de Santiago centuries ago. The wines were aged under a thin layer of flor in a mix of 500ltr, 600ltr barrels and buried tinajas. Blended in June and bottled in August the following year, the finished wine was then bottle-aged for another year before release. SO2 was only added at bottling to reach a low 25mg/l total. Crystalline and lifted, with flavours of pink grapefruit, tarragon and roses, this is lush and round while packed with salivating razor-like acids. Saltiness and fine bitters extend a lengthy and energetic finish – a stunning wine that showcases all of Iago's talent! For drinking now to 2028.

Caiño Longo, Caiño da Terra, Brancellao, Espadeiro, Sousón
Caiño Longo, Caiño da Terra, Brancellao, Espadeiro, Sousón (12% alc.)
(12% alc.)

From 15-30yo vineyards throughout the Ribeiro DO (see Mercenario Blanco) – field-blends with many native grape varieties. Fermentation was carried out in open vats where whole grapes were foot trodden and then 'massaged' by hand for light extraction. 10 months ageing in old demi-muids (2/3) and tinajas (1/3). This nuanced red wine is pure joy, combining aromas of watermelon, menthol, spices and cured meat. Its lifted flavours and high drinkability will please many Jura lovers!

Selección de Añada
34% Caiño Longo, 33% Caiño da Terra, 33% Brancellao
34% Caiño Longo, 33% Caiño da Terra, 33% Brancellao (12% alc.)
(12% alc.)

As per the classic Mercenario Tinto, the Selección de Añada is made from vineyards on the different river banks throughout the Ribeiro DO – but the vines are older on this occasion (up to 45yo), Iago selects the best plots and harvests them a bit later "to produce deeper and meatier wines", as he explains. He also adds some grapes from Augalevada for good measure. This refined red wine is in the same vein as the classic Mercenario Tinto although complexity, depth and length are significantly stepped up!

Previous Grower ← Adega Algueira