Downtown Durham's neighborhood bottle shop and wine bar offering curbside pickup, local delivery, and shipping to 43 states.
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* Durham, Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Hillsborough, and Cary
We cannot ship to ND, NH, UT, MS, AL, VT, or KY.
Barrialto produces natural, terruño-driven white wines from old-vine palomino grapes without fortification from the Jerez region in a micro-winery located in a converted historic tavern in Sanlúcar’s Barrio Alto sub-zone.
Barrialto Aranzá comes from a small part of a three-hectare, 60-year-old, bush-trained palomino vineyard called La Palma in the Pago Balbaína Baja. The limestone-rich albariza soils in this part of the vineyard are pure tosca cerrada, which Mayetero Rafael Rodríguez prefers, as he says wines coming from this soil have a certain “magnetism,” resulting in naturally balanced wines. Aranzá refers to the traditional agricultural measurement in the area of half a hectare, or one aranzá, that the wine is produced from.
Tosca cerrada albariza is a very hard sub-type of albariza with a slight grey tint, with chalk levels around 60%, and a cement-like solidity (hence “cerrada,” or closed). When wet, it becomes soft and extremely slippery, and it appears to dissolve. This type of albariza leads to a fine, velvety wine, with a bit more balance and elegance than those from antehojuelasalbariza soils.
Vintage – Grapes are harvested on August 27th at 12 degrees of potential alcohol. 2019 was characterized by far less than average rainfall and a mild summer. July’s temperatures were also significantly lower than usual, with an almost total absence of the Levante wind ahead of a more typically hot August for the final weeks of ripening. The weather in 2019 favored slow, gradual ripening and contributed well-developed aromatics and to high acidity levels. 1750 bottles produced.
Vinification – Hand-harvested palomino grapes are de-stemmed and pressed, followed by spontaneous fermentation with native yeasts from the vineyard without temperature control in 500L ex-Manzanilla casks. After fermentation, it rests for two months on the fine lees in the same barrels before being racked into a stainless steel tank for six months before bottling unfined, with only a light paper filtration and minimal additional sulfur used before bottling.
Rafael Rodríguez, with his Barrialto micro-winery in a converted historic tavern in Sanlúcar’s Barrio Alto sub-zone,
represents an exciting and important evolution for unfortified white wines from Sherry country in Andalucia. Rafa, who is also an architect, descends from three generations of grape growers in Sanlúcar de Barrameda, where his grandfather was an almacenista. The most groundbreaking aspect of the vision for Barrialto is his dedication to exploring and exalting the region’s historic terroir through his organically-farmed vineyards. Rafael Rodríguez is a genuine Mayetero, a local term for a viticulturist who makes his own wines by hand. Barrialto produces natural, artisanal white wines from old-vine palomino grapes without fortification, starting with excellent work in the vineyard.
Rafa began working in wine in 2009, and in 2016 he joined the Mayetería Sanluqueña, a pioneering group of five young winemakers, including the like-minded Ramiro Ibanez, dedicated to exploring terroir in the Sherry region through unfortified wines. His first vintage of Barrialto on the market is 2018.
Rafa is passionate about his work in the vineyard,
in which he conserves and recuperates old, low-yielding palomino vines, which runs counter to the current norms in the area. In contrast with many other regions in Spain, where old vines are plentiful, in Jerez, old vines are often ripped out because they are less productive than younger vines. He also utilizes the traditional en vaso (goblet) vine training system, another abandoned practice that his grandfather once championed. All of the grapes are hand-harvested, unfortified, and naturally lower in alcohol than the fortified wines of the region. With this artisan approach, Rafa makes extremely small amounts of high-quality, transparent wines, which are exceptionally hard to come by in export markets due to limited allocations.
“We are determined to maintain the Mayetera culture and value the legacies of the different families who have cultivated the vine here for generations, making wines from old vineyards so that they can live on.”
In his tiny cellar inside an old tavern, he finished converting in 2019 in the Barrio Alto subzone of Sanlúcar de Barrameda. He allows each parcel of wine to ferment spontaneously without temperature control using only the ambient yeasts from the vineyard in 500L ex-Manzanilla casks. Each vineyard is fermented separately, respecting each individual terruño, and just a minimal amount of sulfur is used in the process. Transparency and quality are always the goal.
Albariza Soil Sub-types: Tosca Cerrada and Barajuelas
Tosca cerrada albariza is a very hard sub-type of albariza with a slight grey tint with chalk levels around 60% and a cement-like solidity (hence cerrada or closed). When wet, it becomes soft and extremely slippery, and it appears to dissolve. This type of albariza leads to a fine, velvety wine, with a bit more balance and elegance than those from antejoelas albariza soils.
Barajuelas albariza contains the highest level of diatoms and around 50% chalk content. It shows clear horizontal sections of white, layered lines (chalk), sometimes mixed with ochre-colored layers containing iron oxide and clay. The hard, layered structure causes the roots of the vines to work harder if they want to reach the stored water below the surface. This hardship results in lower yields and grapes with a thicker skin and higher concentration of phenolic compounds. The resulting wines tend to be powerful and concentrated, with a savory mineral and saline quality.
Barrialto Aranzá is produced from a small part of a three-hectare, 60-year-old palomino vineyard called La Palma in the Pago Balbaína Baja. The limestone-rich albariza soils in this part of the vineyard are pure tosca cerrada, which Rafa prefers. He says wines coming from this soil have a certain “magnetism,” resulting in naturally balanced wines. Aranzá refers to the traditional agricultural measurement in the area of half a hectare or one Aranzá that the wine is produced from.
Barrialto Sobre Lías Santa Brigida is bottled from a single 500L butt and is a blend of two different albariza soil sub-types. Palomino grapes from Balbaína Baja near Jerez (albariza tosca cerrada soils), are blended with grapes from Maína, near Sanlúcar’, (albariza barajuelas soil). Rafa says that the tosca cerrada albariza lends the blend balance and fitness, while the barrajuela albariza lends a dry minerality and a certain herbal salinity.
Each wine Rafa produces is a unique snapshot of a place, time, and soil type in his vineyards in the Jerez region. As a result, the production of these authentic treasures is in the hundreds of bottles, and they are exceptionally limited, coming to the US market in tiny allocations. We are thrilled to support his work as a Mayetero, as it is a key part of the next chapter for this magical region we hold dear to our hearts.
LouElla is Downtown Durham's neighborhood bottle shop, bar, and event space offering curated wine, craft beer, and fortified selections from family operated producers. The business takes its name and mission from owner and proprietor Campbell Davis's Great Aunt LouElla who was much beloved for her warmth, hospitality, and generous spirit. Whether we are serving you at the bar or helping you pick that perfect bottle to host your celebration, our mission is to share LouElla's hospitality with the community.
Owner & Manager
For Cam Davis, LouElla is the culmination of more than 20 years of experience in the hospitality and beverage industry. Cam has successfully managed some of Durham’s finest locally and nationally recognized establishments, including Hutchin's Garage, Guglhupf, Rue Cler, and Durham Catering Company. He brings a wealth of wine and beverage knowledge, not only from his extensive restaurant experience, but also from his tenure as Durham Sales Manager for wine distributor Bordeaux, Fine and Rare.
316 West Geer St, Suite A, Durham, NC 27701
Tue. - Thu. 11am - 9pm
Fri. & Sat. 11am - 10pm
Sun. 11am - 8pm