Rafael Palacios joins Liberty Wines

Liberty Wines is delighted to be appointed UK agent for Rafael Palacios, who has been producing white wines from Godello in Valdeorras since 2004.

Rafa is from the Palacios Remondo family in Rioja. The youngest of nine children, he studied in Bordeaux between 1990 and 1993, where he also worked with the Mouiex family. He met John Cassegrain in Bordeaux and worked the 1994 vintage with him in Australia. He then went to Coonawarra and worked at Rouge Homme. While in Australia, Rafa discovered his passion for white wines, discovering techniques that were at the time largely unknown in Europe.

Rafa returned to Spain to work at the family winery in 1994. The combination of his experience in Australia and his contact with the new wave of Spanish white wines from Rueda and Galicia, drove him to create Placet in 1997. It enjoyed immediate success upon its release as a new take on classic white Rioja. After his father’s death in 2000, he worked alongside his brother Alvaro at Palacios Remondo and then decided, in 2004, to create his own winery from scratch.

Among the white varieties Rafa had encountered upon his return from Australia was Godello.  Its homeland, in the rugged western part of Galicia, appealed, so he moved to Valdeorras in 2004.

Since that time, Rafa has built up 32 sorte (parcels) of Godello spread over 19.5 hectares in the rugged and remote Val do Bibei subzone. Most are planted on steep granitic slopes with fragile old terraces buttressed by rocks and stones. His work in the vineyard results in wines of great intensity, something he is keen to conserve by the intelligent and judicious use of oak.

David Gleave MW says: “We are excited to be working with Rafael Palacios, who has succeeded in bringing Godello to the world’s attention over the past 16 years. Strengthening our Spanish portfolio has been a priority for us over the past couple of years, so Rafa’s move to join us is an important step forward. It is now our job to build upon the excellent job done with his wines by Fields Morris & Verdin.”

The wines

Rafael Palacios `Louro Do Bolo` Valdeorras Godello 2019  (available from mid-August 2020)

Rafael Palacios `As Sortes Val do Bibei` Valdeorras Godello 2019  (available from October 2020)

Rafael Palacios ‘Sorte O Soro’ 2019  (available in early 2021)

Rafael Palacios ‘Sorte Antiga’ 2019  (available in early 2021)

If you would like to know more about these wines, please get in touch with your usual contact.