Sheltered from the cold Atlantic to the west, and from the hot Spanish plateau to the east, Bierzo's ability to produce premium reds from its native Mencia gape variety has been increasingly recognized over the last thirty years. The grapes are grown on steep, well-drained slopes of decomposing slate and granite, and are capable of producing everything from light fruity wines for easy consumption to concentrated, complex reds suitable for cellar ageing.