Rafael Palacios is the youngest of the nine children of the Palacios Remondo family (widely known for his older brother, Alvaro who revolutionized the wine region of Priorat in the beginning of the 1990s). After acquiring formal education in Bordeaux and working as the white wines maker at the family estate in Rioja, he was introduced to the mineral and rich Godello grape variety since 1996 – and in 2004 he moved to Valdeorras (Galicia, close to the Portugese border), where he managed to purchase and gather 26 small parcels of vineyards totaling 24.5 hectares which he works these days. The vineyards are planted in remote settings and altitude of 650 to 740 meters, and the soil is sandy over granite base and some of the vines are getting close to 100 years old. Due to erosion, many vineyards are planted on terraces and the vines enjoy mix of the Atlantic & Mediterranean climates. The majority of the vine’s variety planted on these plots are Godello, with small part of the ingenious Treixadura grapes. The viticulture is organic and partially biodynamic, and after hand harvest the wine making is traditional, using exclusively natural yeasts and fermentation in tank & foudre. The major three wines produced are: Louro is made of the younger vines of the estate and aged in older foudre. As Sortes is made from fruit harvested from old vines between 38 to 95 years old and is aged in 500 liters French oak barrels. The top wine, Sorte O Soro is a cuvee of less than 3,000 bottles per year from a 0.47ha single vineyard with vines age of over 40 years old which are farmed according to biodynamic principles. This wine is aged in large 500 liters new French oak barrels.
Rafa is widely considered one of the leading white wine producers in Spain today.