Ismael Gozalo is famous for his work with the Verdejo grape, native to his village of Nieva, in the province of Segovia in Castilla y León. He and Javier Zaccagnini started Ossian in 2004, building it into one of the finest white wine producers in Spain, before he left to focus on Microbio.
This is the land of industrial Verdejo production (Rueda), but Ismael's commitment to producing genuine and exciting wines with the traditional local grape eschews labels like DO Rueda, or even organic or natural, and instead he focusses simply on the land, the vines, and the wine in the bottle. Nothing added, and nothing taken away.
His Verdejo comes mainly from small, highly-prized, organically-farmed, plots covering 5 hectares, at 800-900 m of altitude, around Nieva. These include ungrafted vines - some over 200 years old - planted on sandy soils, that have never been subjected to chemical treatments. These ancient vines are a rarity in Rueda, which was almost entirely replanted in the early 20th century due to phylloxera. The sandier soils were a barrier to the louse that infected the vines, and allowed the original rootstock to survive. These same sandy soils also produce small and intensely nuanced yields, and with an ideal pH and balance of rich organic matter to produce healthy grapes without the need for adjuncts.
Verdejo forms the core of the MicroBio wines, however Ismael also makes red and rosé wines, from Tempranillo, Merlot, Syrah, and Rufete, as well as fresh Pet Nats