David Sampedro Gil has been described as one of “Six Producers Leading the Way” in Rioja by Wine Spectator. David's passion is to make a difference through winemaking with minimal intervention, ecological farming methods, and following biodynamic processes in the vineyard.
David Sampedro Gil is a fifth generation vine grower and winemaker from Elvillar, a little village located in the Rioja Alavesa sub-zone of the DOCa Rioja. From the time he was a small child, David worked the vineyards alongside his grandfather, who taught him to search for harmony among the land and among the vines. These lessons stuck with David, and later transformed into his passion for what he calls the “Biodynamic Dream” for DSG Vineyards: a balance moving away from commercialization and mechanization and back to the lessons of his Grandfather. David practices biodynamically in many of his vineyards, and considers it not only a range of procedures but a work-life philosophy in pursuit of sustainable development. David works in a five separate wine regions throughout Spain and Germany, and invests only in the terroirs’ indigenous varieties that have traditionally produced excellent wines. However, due to current trends that demand internationally recognized grape varietals and factors that encourage higher yields, certain traditional and indigenous varieties have been forgotten or ignored. DSG Vineyards seeks revitalize these indigenous varietals and their unique terroir in the international marketplace.
David Sampedro Gil makes wine in five distinct regions, including four in Spain: Rioja Alavesa, Navarra, the Sierra de Francia Mountains (Salamanca), and Valencia; as well as wine from the Mosel region in Germany. HP Selections features ten wines from DSG Vineyards, all of which are focused within two regions, Rioja Alavesa and Salamanca. David Sampedro Gil practices in the biodynamic tradition wherever possible, and 7 hectares of his vineyards in Rioja Alavesa have been certified ecological “ENEEK” by the Basque government, as the Rioja Alavesa DOCa sub-zone is located in the Basque Region of Spain.
David primarily cultivates Tempranillo, Graciano, Garnacha, Malvasia, and Viura throughout his vineyards in Rioja Alavesa. Rioja Alavesa is where much of David’s “Phincas” line is localized, in proximity to his hometown of Elvillar. David’s vineyards in Rioja Alavesa include Phinca Lali, the oldest vineyard that he cultivates, planted in 1910; La Abejera and Valmayor, which feature limestone soils; and Tajo, Valdegamorra, Ribartayo, and El Pison, which sit on clay and sandy soils. The Phinca Lali vineyard produces the wine of the same name, which he named for his mother Hilaria’s nickname. This vineyard requires a substantial amount of work, as it was overrun almost into extinction when David took it over. The Valmayor and La Abejera vineyards make up the composition of the wine “Phinca Abejera”. These vineyards produce a combination of Tempranillo and Graciano, but were planted in two different generations: the first by David’s grandfather in 1929 and the second by David himself in 1999. David’s flagship “Phincas” wine is a combination of the vineyards of Tajo, Valdegamorra, Ribartayo, and El Pison. His wine “Thousand Mils” hails from both the La Abejera and Lali vineyards, where a vast variety of white wine varietals are planted with the majority being Viura and Malvesia but also including white Garnacha, Palomino, and Moscatel, among others.
Vuelta de Terca and Terca are sourced from David’s La Revilla and Tajo Vineyards. The vines from these two vineyards are an average age of 85 years old, and sit on white clay-limestone soils. These two vineyards have been worked according to the biodynamic philosophy since 2000. David’s red wine, “Vuelta de Terca”, comes solely from the La Revilla vineyard, which has some additional clay within the soil that raises its humidity level, creating more life in the soil and greater expression of the terroir.
In the southern part of Salamanca, a region inside Castilla y Leon, David cultivates vineyards within the Sierra de Francia mountains. It is here that David chose to bet on the indigenous grape Rufete, a grape that has gone out of fashion in the region and was quickly being replaced with Tempranillo. The climate here is humid Mediterranean, with long, warm summers conducive to a long growing season. The soils here are acid soils, and the vineyards are terraced along the mountainsides and within valleys at altitudes ranging from 350 meters to over 1,000 meters. 80% of the vines are more than 50 years old, and 50% of the vines are more than 80 years old. Both the red Rufete and White Rufete grapes are extremely oxidative, making it difficult for producers to use in a 100% varietal wine. The red Rufete grapes grow in small, cramped bunches, producing medium sized grapes with thin skins. They are cultivated on a combination of granite and slate soils. The white Rufete is a minority in the region, with only a few vines scattered amongst several plots of land. White Rufete is also extremely oxidative, and there is no other known producer currently making a 100% varietal wine from this grape. It is cultivated along a combination of granite and slate soils.
David believes in minimal intervention during the winemaking process, and practices ecologically and biodynamically in the vineyard and throughout harvest wherever possible. All of his parcels are hand harvested for careful selection. For many of his wines, the harvested grapes are placed into barrels directly in the vineyard to preserve the grapes’ stems. Distinct parcels are fermented separately to preserve their unique characteristics prior to blending. When stems are removed, they are done so directly above the barrel. Pumping is avoided, with a gentle, frequent punching down of the cap used in most of David’s reds to keep the juice in contact with the skins. The grapes use their native yeasts for fermentation, and in most cases spend up to two years in barrels so that the malolactic fermentation can occur naturally. David ages his wine in French oak barrels of 2-3 years of age, with no new oak used. The wines undergo a light filtration prior to bottling.
David’s winemaking techniques vary according to the varietals he is working with for each of the ten wines that HP Selections represents. Please visit each wine’s individual PDFs below to explore the winemaking process and their individual characteristics for each of the DSG Vineyards wines.
David Sampedro Gil: El Novio Perfecto 2012 50% Muscatel and 50% Viura Download Tasting Notes
David Sampedro Gil: Marques De Closa Crianza 2012 85% Tempranillo and 15% Grenache Download Tasting Notes
David Sampedro Gil: Phinca Abejera 2011 40% Tempranillo, 40% Graciano, 10% Grenache and 10% Viura Download Tasting Notes
David Sampedro Gil: Phinca Durmiente 2010 100% Rufete blanco Download Tasting Notes
David Sampedro Gil: Phinca Encanto 2010 100% Rufete Download Tasting Notes
David Sampedro Gil: Phinca Lali 2010 85% Tempranillo and 15% Viura Download Tasting Notes
David Sampedro Gil: Phincas 2010 70% Tempranillo, 15% Graciano, 10% Grenache and 5% Viura Download Tasting Notes
David Sampedro Gil: Terca Blanca 2010 90% Viura and 10% Malvasia Download Tasting Notes
David Sampedro Gil: Thousand Mils 2010 80% Viura, 10% Garnacha Blanca and 10% Malvesia Download Tasting Notes
David Sampedro Gil: Vuelta De Terca 2010 80% Tempranillo, 10% Garnacha and 10% Graciano Download Tasting Notes