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Barranco Oscuro

Alpujarras, Spain

The history of Barranco Oscuro is a long and storied one, beginning in the 19th century when the estate had one hundred hectares and a working winery attached. Ultimately, phylloxera devastated the estate, and the land was planted up with “safer” agriculture, like almond trees. The property itself was divided up amongst inheritors and the winemaking, in turn, fell by the wayside.

Enter Manuel Valenzuela, born into a family of modest means in a small town in Grenada. He excelled in school and had the opportunity to travel to Madrid and Barcelona to pursue a career, but ultimately fled Spain during the Franconian dictatorship and settled during that time in Paris. There he met his partner Rosa, and in due time the two travelled back to the Alpujarras to reconnect with a simpler lifestyle. In 1979 they bought Barranco Oscuro, where they kept some of the existing almond trees but began replanting ancient and indigenous vines alongside some international varieties (in the now-dated but contemporary spirit of innovation). 

Today the farm is worked by Manuel and his son Lorenzo and comprises 12 hectares planted on schist and situated at 1300 metres elevation. Given their altitude and proximity to the Mediterranean, the estate finds itself in the midst of a microclimate, in turn producing wines at once indicative of their place of origin but wines which are also wholly unique.