Santiago RuizThe Father of Albariño
Santiago Ruiz was universally recognised as the father of Albariño.
His family had already produced wine since the end of the 19th Century and he continued the tradition. It wasn't until he retired that he dedicated himself completely to his passion: wine. Winemaker and communicator, Santiago Ruiz is respected as much for his career in wine as for his commitment to the land.
A firm proponent of the use of O Rosal's native varieties, Santiago Ruiz was finally able to dedicate himself to his true vocation when he was 70 years old, after retiring from his job as machinery and naval insurance salesman. Passionate about work in the winery, his innate curiosity let him to centre his efforts on improving the production process for Galician white wine, incorporating new innovations, such as the use of cooling and stainless steel tanks, in a constant effort to exalt the wines of his region.
In 1984, Santiago Ruiz realised his passion and founded his winery, where he produced a white wine that would be one of the first to bear a label. Convinced of the quality of his wine, he became the Rias Baixas's first ambassador, making the region known all over the world. Soon, Santiago Ruiz was recognised as one of the pioneers in regenerating Galician vineyards. In homage to his efforts, his own street, the winery he founded and the wine that keeps his spirit alive are all proudly named after Santiago Ruiz.
Wines that make history
The wines of Santiago Ruiz's grandfather were "recommended by doctors for the sick and convalescents." This was when the original winery in San Miguel de Tabagón was founded.
A map that shows the place where Isabel, Santiago Ruiz's first born, celebrated her wedding, which became the label of the Santiago Ruiz wine, a label loaded with symbolism and family history.
Santiago Ruiz, at last retired from his work duties, dedicated himself to his true passion: wine. In 1981, he issued his first invoice, to private individuals and some well-known restaurants, which shows his famous map (that later would be used on the label.) A bottled wine that was described as being from "El Rosal", marking the start of the professionalization of the D.O. Rías Baixas.
The winery that we know today was opened in its current location. Situated on Rúa Do Vinicultor Santiago Ruiz, as thanks from the locals for his ambassadorial work, today it also houses a small museum where his daughter Rosa generously relates her family history to us.
The opening of the new winery in Tomiño, at the foot of our vineyard, just 12 kilometres from the old one. Here we work on improving the quality of the wine, through the most advanced technology, allowing us to continue to investigate and innovate.
Rosa Ruiz continues the legacy. She launches the wine that bears her name. A 100% Albariño from old vines made in remembrance of the summer afternoons of her childhood spent in the historic winery with her father.
The history of Albariño
Long before the Rías Baixas Designation of Origin existed, wine used to be made for domestic consumption in the Galician region of O Rosal. This tradition existed in the home of Santiago Ruiz, whose grandfather, Ángel, made it for the household and to give as a gift, always with its own label.
When Santiago Ruiz reached 70 years of age and then retired, he made it his personal mission to make O Rosal wines a byword for quality, through careful winemaking, demanding excellence and using the most innovative techniques (such as stainless steel tanks.)
This love of the land and for its wines earned him, alongside the success of his endeavour, the gratitude of his countrymen, who even decided to name a street after him. This is how, travelling the length and breadth of Spain with his bottles under his arm, Santiago Ruiz became "the father of Albariño" and a great ambassador for the Rías Baixas.
Today his family continues his legacy and his link to the white wines of O Rosal. In recognition of her labour, Santiago's youngest daughter, vine grower Rosa Ruiz, proudly lends her name to the first different wine to be created since the winery was founded, a 100% Albariño made from old vines that were planted by her ancestors in the garden of the old winery.
O ROSAL WHITE WINE
Located near to the Miño River Estuary, in O Rosal unique white wines are made, predominantly from Albariño, perfectly supported by other native varietals such as Loureira, Treixadura and Caíño Blanco.
“The man who invented Albariño was called Santiago Ruiz.”
Mi Vino Magazine