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Mencia - the wine of El Bierzo

Mention Rioja wine and most people will know it, but mention Mencia wine from El Bierzo, an area in the west of the province of León and you will probably find a lot of blank faces. However, things are changing and this dark, expansive wine made from the indigenous red variety of grape, introduced by the Romans, is gaining increasing attention. The main industry in El Bierzo was mining, but since the 1990's there has been a resurgence in wine production and from its tiny vineyards, devoted exclusively to the native species come some extremely drinkable reds.

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