The story of Comando G is one of friendship, history, and the pursuit of the perfectly expressed wine.
It starts with university friends Daniel Landi and Fernando Garcia, who were both working in the Sierra de Gredos mountains, not far from Madrid. Daniel was at his family’s estate, Bodegas Jiménez-Landi, and Fernando at Bodega Maranoñes. The men were drawn to the winemaking potential in the high-altitude region, but were even more enchanted by the rumours of small, virtually inaccessible plots of old vines with huge potential located high in the area.
In 2008 they created Comando G as a side business. Their weekends and spare time were spent looking for suitable sites to lease or purchase. The pair had specific criteria for vineyards they wanted to acquire. The plots needed free draining granite soil, must be planted with Garnacha (Grenache), at altitude, and, importantly, facing north or east. The fruit on vines with this aspect receives less direct heat, which is increasingly important in this era of climate change.
Landi and Garcia tapped into local expertise to unearth vineyards that met this strict criterion. These were the plots that old timers often whispered about in dark corners of taverns or out in the fields. The pair befriended locals who had worked in the vineyards to sort rumour from fact, locating plots that were suitable for their long-term plans.
This style of prospecting required a great deal of research in the local bars and taverns, according to Landi. “I found when you drink beer, you find good vineyards,” he said.
Comando G grew into a full-blown enterprise in 2013. Landi and Garcia now own several high-altitude vineyards, mostly focussed on producing Garnacha. Their preference is for their land to be at least 2,500 feet above sea level but prefer 3,000 or even 4,000 feet. This altitude enables a longer ripening cycle and produces wine with less alcohol and more balance.
Garnacha, Landi says, is the Pinot Noir of the south. Until recently, it had been viewed as a workhorse variety, but Comando G has turned it into something that can rival the elegance and finesse of Pinot Noir in Burgundy or Syrah in the northern Rhône.
Comando G produces fresh, elegant wines and that’s a result of its commitment to locating the most suitable vineyards and ongoing respect for traditional practices. The result is that each vineyard is a genuine expression of place, reflecting the nuance of each ancient piece of land.
Comando G follows biodynamic principles, with the techniques tailored for each vineyard. Grapes are harvested by hand and late in the season, typically in October. Fermentation occurs using whole clusters in open-top casks and with indigenous yeasts. Single vineyard wines are fermented in large oak vats and the blends in a mixture of oak and concrete.