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Northern Spain O'Briens Wine Director Lynne Coyle MW first discovered her passion for wine whilst working in Tuscany in her early twenties. One of only 419 Masters of Wine globally, today Lynne makes her own wines in Northern Spain. Unique vineyards, growing local grapes and an Atlantic Ocean climatic influence are her speciality and she makes two such wines in collaboration with small boutique family wineries.
Lynne’s first wine was Rós Rosé, crafted with Garnacha grapes, in collaboration with Alicia Eyaralar at Bodegas Tandem in Navarra’s Yerri Valley. This mountainous region experiences a continental climate, with cold winters and hot, dry summers. Temperatures during the growing season are tempered by cooling breezes that blow in from the nearby Bay of Biscay, and by vineyard altitudes of up to 600m. This local microclimate gives cooler nights and encourages the unirrigated grapes to ripen gracefully, retaining acidity and freshness.
To continue her Atlantic-themed wine making, Lynne released Geal Albariño, which is made in conjunction with the boutique family Lagar de Costa winery. Located in the Salnés Valley in Rías Baixas, the grapes come from a single vineyard that runs right down to the shoreline of the Galician coast. This is an extreme cool maritime climate, with warm wet summers and mild winters. The Atlantic influence ensures the grapes retain a crisp acidity and distinct saline complexity.