Mencía is an old thick-skinned red grape variety native to the northwest of Spain and in particular the winegrowing region of Bierzo. Mencía is an early ripening grape which is susceptible to powdery, downy mildew and botrytis. It is relatively difficult and challenging to grow, and it takes lots of care and attention in the vineyard. The grape variety produces a relatively light, fragrant style of red wine, ideal for being enjoyed while young, but the recent expressions of Mencía are more concentrated and complex being created by a new generation of winemakers. The usage of oak when it is moderate compliments the grape nicely and prolongs its ageing potential. Outside of Spain, there are plantings only in the north part of Portugal in Dão and Douro wine regions. The past couple of decades the Mencía has increased its popularity tremendously and has become one of the Spanish red signature grapes.