|Barrels in the cellars of Vega Sicilia|
The king of wines in Spain is without question, Vega Sicilia. Apart from the fact that the winery dates back to the mid-19th Century, they were producing world class wine before anyone had even conceived of it in Spain. Whilst the ownership of the winery has changed hands over the years, the mission has always been the same; to make the best wine. When the business was started the original owner was inspired by the Bordeaux concept of a single estate vineyard providing a chateau wine each vintage. As in other regions in Spain this proved problematic, particularly as much of the vineyards were planted to Bordeaux varieties generally unsuited to the very different climates of the Ribera del Duero. Common sense prevailed with the second owners, as they shifted the model to a single wine produced from different vineyards, and it was not long before a legend was born. The current owners are the Alvarez family, who this year celebrate their 30th year of ownership. Whilst the family didn’t have a background in the wine business and built their fortune in the outsourcing business (cleaning, security etc.), they made the right choice in appointing a visionary team to oversee the running of the estate into the future. From the Vega Sicilia estate they expanded into new territory; first into other parts of the Ribera del Duero with Alion; then into the re-ermerging Hungarian Tokaji region; returning to Spain into the Toro region; and more recently into the highly competitive but amazingly exploitable Rioja region. The philosophies and many of the practices are the same across the five estates, but it is Vega Sicilia which is not only the jewel but also one of the most unique wineries in the world.
|A Vega Sicilia bottle in storage|
|One of the Vega Sicilia tanks|
|The Penafiel Castle above the Ribera del Duero valley|
|The gates of Tinto Pesquera|
|Ancient press at Tinto Pesquera|