In the year 1158, Abbot Pelagio of the San Clodio del Ribeiro D'Avia monastery wrote in his last will and testament of his prodigious work to restore the surrounding lands: "...I planted vines, for there there were none, I ploughed the hills, populated estates and acquired other now ones: in Lebosende, Leiro, Partovia, Pazos Hermos, Cuñas, Esposende, Meín... All of this things I leave and grant to said monastery..."
This document describes the turning point in the economy of O Ribeiro which went from being a depressed area as a result of Moorish incursions and the negligence of its rulers, to a prosperity that lasted for centuries, founded on the prestige of the Ribeiro wines.
Cuñas is one of those settlements that was repopulated as farmlands in the 12th Century under the influence of San Clodio Monastery.
The construction of the winery and cellars can be traced back to this period. Together with the surrounding lands they make up the property which we know as Valdavia today, situated close to the old Cistercian and Benedictine monastery.
The bodega and its vines passed through many different hands since its founding under the domain of San Clodio. In the late 16th Century, Philip II stripped many monasteries of their jurisdictional rights, selling them off to the highest bidder. Although his will ordered the restitution of his property, it wasn't until the early 17th Century that the estates of Cuñas were returned to the monastery. After that time the lands were rented out to various farmers until the early 19th century when the Ecclesiastical Confiscations of Mendizábal placed them into private ownership.
It was my grandfather, Antonio García Soto, who, in the middle of the last century endeavoured to bring together all the lands adjacent to the winery and transform the existing minufundios into one unified, prestigious estate. He was a man with a great deal of common sense, intelligence and prudence and was a role model for the leading wine dealers in O Ribeiro who would turn to him for advice about the best pipes [large barrels] in the Avia Valley. Antonio understood the properties of the gentle slopes of Cuñas for cultivating the best wines.
My father, Antonio García Carrasco, continued the work of my grandfather, combining his professional work in the world of law with caring for the vineyard and producing its wines. After many years of dedicating his holidays to the vindimia [grape harvest], he retired at the end of the 1990s to concentrate fully on expanding the vineyards. In 2004, together with his children - my sister and me - he founded Valdavia and started to renovate the buildings which make up the winery, respecting the materials and architectural features. At the same time he also updated all the technical means needed to produce top-quality wines.