Almaroja | Arribes del Duero, Castilla y Leon


Charlotte Allen

"Making wine is my life."

The English-born Charlotte Allen, known as Charlie to her friends, always dreamed of becoming a winemaker. But the odds were stacked against her. She did not come from a winemaking family. She knew nothing about farming or grapes. She did not come from money. And she was a woman hoping to break into a male-dominated industry. When she was working in the wine import business in the United Kingdom a decade ago, even her close friends believed her aspirations were nothing more than a pipe dream. But Charlie knew better. “Making wine is my life,” she says. “It’s all I do, and it is very important to me. That day that I bottled my first wine and put the label on, I started crying.”

She left her job to study winemaking in France and South Africa. Then on the recommendation of friends she landed in Spain, where four years ago she found her way to Fermoselle, a tiny medieval village on the west side of the country in the winemaking region of Arribes. The terrain is difficult and isolated but offers 70-year-old vines and granite soil that impart a complexity, concentration and mineral quality to Almaroja’s red Pirita. There is also a dazzling variety of 17 grape varieties. “I love the idea of presenting to the world unknown grape varieties,” says Charlie. “My goal is to create a complex and balanced wine, a wine that whispers not that screams.”

Learn more about Almaroja here