The Ossian project was founded on exceptional vineyards: 9 hectares of venerable vineyards between 100 and 200 years old. This is pre-phylloxera Verdejo that escaped the plague because of its sandy soils. The vineyards are located in the town of Nieva (Segovia province), the highest in altitude among of all the villages that are included in the D.O. Rueda, between 840 and 930 meters above sea level (150 meters in the area near the Duero River). This causes a specific climate, with higher thermal oscillations between day and night in the valley, delaying the harvest date and, finally, improving the quality of wine.
The cellar in which the project started is a small facility that is part of the old Monastery of El Parral, the 12th century, opposite the Church, Mudejar Romanesque style, from the same era.
With prime raw materials, owners Javier Zaccagnini and Ishmael Gozalo traveled to Burgundy in search of a good winemaker. There they found Pierre Millemann, who already had a strong reputation and long experience in developing large Burgundian whites. Pierre accepted the challenge and began designing what the wine could be.
The project began with the 2005 harvest, making two different cuvées, and fermenting the juice in Burgundian 228-liter barrels manufactured by four different coopers (all from Burgundy), with oak from three different forests, with 2 different roasts. All this was intended to investigate what wood is best suited to the Verdejo grape; which endowed the wine more complexity.
The inaugural 2005 vintage was bottled on October 25, 2006, yielding 12,000 bottles that were put on the market in December of that year, after nine months of barrel aging and 2 months of bottle aging. They sold out in three weeks and were awarded a 93-point score in the Penin Guide.
Ossian has been certified Organic for more than seven years. The winery does not get a single chemical synthesis, or fertilizer, herbicides or fungicides of any kind. It is the oldest registered and certified organic vineyard in the D.O. Rueda.
In short, this is an old project that is 100% Verdejo, 100% ungrafted, 100% organically grown, 100% fermented in oak barrels, 100% Burgundian philosophy.