Martín Códax

Galicia, galicia Spain

Martín Códax is a modern and dynamic co-operative, situated in the Val do Salnés subzone in the north of Rías Baixas. It is the largest producer in Galicia and an estate-grown Albariño specialist, conducting ongoing research into the variety. It was founded in 1986 by 50 families and has since grown to over 550 members. The co-operative was named ‘Martín Códax’ after the medieval poet and minstrel who lived in Galicia and wrote many odes to the region and its wines. The co-operative was instrumental in the creation of the Rías Baixas DO in 1988 (the statutes were signed at the winery) and has championed the Albariño variety, which is now the most widely planted in the region. Ninth generation winemaker Luciano Amoedo still heads the winemaking team, alongside one of Spain’s top up-and-coming winemakers Katia Álvarez.

The winery processes grapes from around 500 hectares of vineyard planted with Albariño, with the average family holding less than one hectare in size. The Val do Salnés is particularly suited to the Albariño variety and now represents 70% of its total production. The subzone sits five kilometres from the sea and benefits from its cooling influence at night, which ensures the fresh acidity and pure aromatics of the grapes are retained to balance the ripeness and weight derived from the warm days. The Rías Baixas region has the highest levels of rainfall in Spain, but the thick skins of the Albariño grape, the special ‘emparrado’ trellising system and the free-draining granitic sandy soils all combine to form a unique mesoclimate ideal for producing high-quality grapes.

The Albariño is brilliantly fresh with plenty of ripe lemon, grapefruit and green apple character. The ‘Lías’ is made from fruit from the single ‘Pé Redondo’ vineyard and is aged on its fine lees for 12 months which adds a unique silkiness and mouthfeel to this Albariño. Fruit for the Albariño ‘Organistrum’ (named after a medieval string instrument) is selected from a small, earlier ripening vineyard at 110 metres above sea level and is fermented in French oak, which adds smoky complexity, body and texture to the wine.


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