Welcome to our journey!

Ribeira Sacra, Camino de Santiago in Villfranca del Bierzo

Left: Galicia’s spectacular Ribeira Sacra and the Sil River.
Right: The Camino de Santiago departing Villafranca del Bierzo on the final leg to Santiago de Compostela.

Dear Fellow Wine Travelers,

This space is intended to provide information and longterm perspective resulting from over 30 years of professional wine trading in Spain, and to a lesser extent, Germany.

Classical Wines was founded in the early 1980s following intensive retail experience beginning in 1976, Spain’s first post-Franco vintage and among Germany’s most legendary dessert wine vintages of the 20th century.

Entire generations and multiple business cycles have transpired since then; Emile Peynaud and the 1982 vintage changed the way red wines were made and consumed; Robert Parker arrived at the expense of his namesake Finigan and is now preparing to depart; Al Gore invented the internet.

The revelation of Spain and Tinto Pesquera in the 1980s was followed by the rush-to-overripeness of the 1990s. German dry Riesling led by the efforts of Bernhard Breuer achieved quality levels not seen since before World War I, yet remained frustratingly eccentric.

The Great Recession gave impetus to a return to freshness and authenticity in Spain as producers conceived during the real estate Bubble, offering predictably commercial styles, began to burst. In recognition of a full-circle return to viticultural roots, Classical Wines conceived its own recapitulation: Bonafide Wine Estates.

Here we will be taking periodic and sometimes rambling looks at exemplary growers and regions, from both an historical and sometimes quasi-technical perspective.

Steve Metzler, Founder and President, Classical Wines and Bonafide® Wine Estates

Author: shm

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