There’s a certain yin-and-yang that comes along with talking to Richard Sanz, the winemaker who runs Menade in Rueda along with his brother and sister. While he riffs on being 100% organic and natural (which they are) and strategically planting herb and flower gardens near his vines to encourage pollination (which they do), he’s also the type of guy who can curse up a storm and might just try his hand at brewing beer (which he does), because why the heck not?
“I had a dream in the family, in which the sixth generation in which we, together with my brother and my sister, start doing something that really ran through our veins,” Richard proudly tells us. The original plan was “a little vineyard, making natural wines … and it grew into Menade.”
Disregard any preconceived notions you might have about the people or place that might make natural and organic wines. If you’re thinking it’s a super rustic, flower-power type of operation run by a “yeahhh mannn” type, one trip to their winery will show you otherwise. Inside, it’s all about modernity with a bold flair for color and comfort, something you clearly get when talking to Richard as well. As his hands swirl like a typhoon as he expounds the virtues of natural farming, but it’s not because it’s the cool thing to do. It’s because it’s the right thing to do, Richard says.
There is something that is not consistent if there are certain things that are being created to avoid other things … If we can do it naturally, we can contribute to leaving a better planet for our children.”
“I think there is one thing that is logical, rather than ecological,” he explains. “We live in a crowded world, where we have technology, but we are using chemistry. There is something that is not consistent if there are certain things that are being created to avoid other things … If we can do it naturally, we can contribute to leaving a better planet for our children.”
Speaking of transcendentalism, it doesn’t need to be a deep spiritual journey — though that doesn’t hurt. Richard knows that his product and the products of fellow winemakers can have a similar effect, be it on the winery’s balcony or thousands of miles away in far-away continents.
“We consider ourselves fortunate. Practically, I think the world of grapes or wine is one of the very few products that … can transmit sensations and enjoyment in a bottle in Japan, or the United States. I think this is the greatness of wine and how we interpret the world of wine.”
We greatly encourage you to interpret the world of Menade wine — preferably chilled in a glass of your choosing. Visit Wine Searcher to buy Menade.