Rodrigo Mendez is a 5th generation winemaker from the tiny fishing village of Meaño in Salnes, the most coastal of the subzones of Rias Baixas. Descended from the founding head of the DO of Rias Baixas, he is an astute historian of the history and heritage of this place, and makes wines to express and preserve this history and unique maritime terroir. He sources the parcels he farms through generational familial relationships, from families for whom winemaking is no longer their way of life. Indeed, his preservation of these historic vineyards is a vocation as much as it is a passion project – he feels compelled and bound to farm these parcels, because otherwise they would no longer exist. He makes wine in a way that harkens back to lost methods – painstaking work that eschews the Albariño-as-soft drink style that’s become the mainstream. Rather than allowing the wine to go through malolactic fermentation, Rodri allows his fruit to hang longer than his neighbors in the appellation, allowing the natural weight and viscosity of the wine balance the searing acidity that this maritime zone produces. The end result is a wine of the sea and of the wind – unmistakably Salnes.