Son de Arrieiro | Ribeiro

 

Xulia Bande

"I'm a survivor."

Inspired by the viticultural efforts of her grandfather, the self-taught Xulia Bande  decided to work with the same indigenous grape varieties that he did. Caíño. Brancellao. Ferrol. Many of these vines had been abandoned as Ribeiro winemakers sought more productive varieties in response to an increased demand. Not Xulia. “It's a shame because [these vines] are adapted to the conditions here,” she says.  Recuperating native Galician grapes has given her an edge in her winemaking, giving these varieties new life. This defines her. “I’m a survivor. Lover of vine and wine. Someone who has the privilege to live doing what I love.”

And she has done just that. Her life’s story reads as someone who has lived many times over. A music teacher. A truck driver. An entrepreneur Earlier in life she had little interest in winemaking. Her grandfather, an arrieiro, or muleteer/mule driver, spent a large part of his life tending vines. As he got older, this became more difficult. Xulia stepped in and created a business model based on servicing vineyards. Nearly 40 years of experience has made her one of, if not the top vineyard consultant in Ribeiro. 

The process has been far from easy. Heat waves, hail, frost, fire, and plague - her journey has been marked by challenges. Still, she continues. In 2015, Xulia felt it was time to create her own label. “I bet on red wine at a time when the whole world kept saying that Ribeiro only had white wine.” Her bet paid off. That same year, she won the Premio de Galicia for the best red wine. She had found her next venture. 

“The inspiration to bring this project to life was the admiration and respect that I've always felt for the work and the know-how of my grandfather. This is my small homage to him.”

Learn more about Xulia Bande and Son de Arrieiro here.