Roman gold mines of Las Médulas Roman gold mines of Las Médulas

The Bierzo

Vineyard's growth

Already  2.000 years ago, quotations from Plinio el Viejo y Estrabón refers to the existence of vineyards in Bierzo region, which is originally derived from the pre-Roman city Bergidum. Furthermore, we know that the Romans drove extraordinarily farming in this land, introducing new crops such as vines and new techniques such as the Roman plow. 

However, further expansion of vineyards in Bierzo, was linked to the development of medieval monasteries, especially Cistercian, because the wine was essential to the cult and also because it was considered basic for their diet.

Therefore not surprising that wine was for ten centuries a very prominent in the economic life of the region and get an increasingly important development as we drawn on through the medieval centuries, under the frequented pilgrim route in the search for the tomb of St. James. 

The relevance of the wine market

After centuries of production and having achieved some popularity in markets of Galicia and Asturias, Bierzo wines suffered a terrible blow in the late nineteenth century, when phylloxera finished with vines, caused a severe economic crisis including the migration of large numbers of people.

The production was restored during the first half of the twentieth century, thanks to scions performed with American vines, and the wine regained important role he played in the economy of the area. 

In the 60's appear a new phenomenon, the cooperative movement, which would play since and is currently playing a very important role in the wine production.

Bierzo's quality wines was fully acknowledged in 1989 when the Minesterio de Agricultura, Pesca y Alimentación granted Designation of Origin to Bierzo wines.

VineyardsThe pre-Roman enclave of Castro VentosaFaçade Mozarabic of Peñalba de Santiago church. X century