Bodega Los Frailes

Casa Los Frailes takes the name from the Jesuit Friars (Frailes in Spanish) who lived in the Estate from the 16th to 18th century. The Valáquez family purchased the estate in 1771, and it has remained in the family ever since.  Casa Los Frailes was certified organic in 2002 and the family firmly believes they need to respect and sustain the land and keep the wine making process as natural as possible.  Their honest wines are 100% estate produced and estate bottled, 100% organically certified and 100% biodynamic viticulture. In addition, Casa Los Frailes honours their roots and traditions and even started producing some of their wines using the same concrete deposits as their predecessors (the Friars), which date all the way back to the 18th century.

When the Jesuit Friars owned the estate in the 16th-18th century, they also used the land to produce wine.   However in 1767, after the Esquilache Riots, King Charles III of Spain expelled the Jesuit Order and confiscated all of their properties and wealth.  Four years later in 1771, the land was purchased in a public auction by one of the ancestors of Casa Los Frailes. It since has been with the Valáquez family for nearly 250 years.  

Casa Los Frailes currently contains 162 organic hectares of vineyards and has a unique terroir: a high altitude at 650-700 meters above sea level, strict dry land farming, vines more than 80 years old (average age is 40 years old) of the native Monastrell grape, extremely calcareous soils, and also influenced by the nearby Mediterranean Sea. Casa Los Frailes believes wines should be a direct expression of the soil, climatology and history.  They embrace organic, biodynamic agricultural principles and pay homage to the way wines were produced centuries beforehand on the same estate.

Bodegas Matarromera

Matarromera begins its history in 1988, when Mr. Carlos Moro, an agricultural engineer, decided to go back to his roots, Valbuena de Duero, to continue his family legacy of wine making. His family began growing vineyards and making wine in the golden mile of Ribera del Duero over 300 years ago.  Matarromera produces iconic Spanish wines and Carlos Moro is considered one of Spain’s most respected and well-known winemakers.

Bodega Matarromera is located in the heart of Ribera del Duero and is one of the most prestigious wineries in Spain, with many awards and medals since its creation in 1988.  Matarromera’s first commercialized wine in 1994, won “Best Wine in the World” at the IWC that same year. Since the wine’s first year, it has won 13 gold & silver medals and it has 56 wines/vintages with 90+ ratings. 

Bodegas Protos

Protos, which means “first” in Greek, dates back to 1927. Eleven wine growers established the Ribera Duero Winery and began producing red wines with the local grape variety, Tinta del País or Tinto Fino (also known as Tempranillo). Several years later in 1982, it allowed its brand “RIBERA DE DUERO” to be used to establish the Ribera del Duero Denomination of Origin.  “Protos literally and figuratively put Ribera del Duero on the map.” Today Protos is the oldest winery in the Ribera del Duero.

Since its inception in 1927, Protos has continued its commitment to quality, It has 100 year-old vineyards, limited yields, hand-picked grapes, barreled Crianza and a comprehensive control of the entire preparation process to ensure the wines receive contemporary global prestige. Accolades such as being selected as the “Winery of the Year” by the magazine Wine & Spirits, recognition of the brand as one of the “Super brands”, and being chosen as Food Industry of the Year by the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, encourages Protos to uphold its philosophy to produce iconic and quality Spanish wine.

Celler del Roure

“The past is our future”.  This is the motto which embodies the heart and soul of Celler del Roure and their winemaking principles.  Celler del Roure is located in the village, Moixant (Terres dels Alforis, DO Valencia, Spain). It was established in 1996 as a small family winery, and their mission was and still is to produce quality wines with a unique personality by leveraging winemaking techniques and traditions used long ago by its predecessors. Celler del Roure extensively researched indigenous grapes to understand which had the most potential.  And in 2006 they acquired another estate, called La Fonda, which contained working vineyards. It was at La Fonda where there they proudly unearthed an old underground cellar buried in the bedrock under the estate, which dates to the 17thcentury. This cellar proved a real treasure as it afforded a view of the winemaking practices from centuries ago. Inside the subterranean cellar, they found stone lagars (vats for freshly pressed wine), and old olive oil press, and 97 amphorae complete with stone lids.  Celler del Roure used this as an opportunity to experiment as to how wines were made centuries beforehand and also determine how they would have tasted. It took several years of finding the best techniques but now Celler del Roure produces its “Ancient” wines, which are aged in amphorae in the ancient cellar.

Celler del Roure estate was certified organic in 2016 and the harvesting is done manually using small crates.  It is located 600 meters above sea level and the terroir consists of calcareous clay and sandy soil. The vine age ranges from 15 to 70 years old.  Their four “Ancient” wines are Parotet, Safrà, Vermell and (the white) Cullerot. For the “Ancient” collection they grow traditional minority grapes such as Mandó, Arcos, Verdil, Pedro Ximénez, etc. and use the buried terracotta amphorae which had remained “dormant” in the La Fonda”.  And for their “Classic Mediterranean’ blend wines, Les Alcusses and Maduresa, the Monastrell grape variety is the main protagonist and traditional methods such as aging in oak barrels are used. 

Dominio de la Vega

Dominio de la Vega is a boutique winery located in the heart of DO Utiel-Requena and also shares DO Cava for its sparkling wines.  They are passionate about producing wines which represent quality over quantity.  And a key part of their operating model is to create a family-like atmosphere for their workers.  For instance, each day the team all sit down together at a table to enjoy an "almuerzo' (a light brunch as the Spaniards typically eat lunch at 2pm!) They believe happy and dedicated workers create outstanding wines.

Dominio de la Vega situated on the eastern coast of Spain in Valencia just south of Barcelona. The terroir consists of sandy and conglomerate soils and has a typical Mediterranean climate.  The water table is also high (given the nearby riverside or "vega" in Spanish) so this has the added advantage of enabling the vines to be more resilient during drought like conditions.

If we explore the region's wine making history, a few grape pips (seeds) were found in the sediment of the main living-area of a dwelling dating from the 5-6th Century BC (amphorae dating from the 7th Century BC have also been discovered). Thus, it it's believed wine has been In the area for over a couple thousand of years!  And there is documented confirmation that vine growing has been a part of the agricultural activity since at least the 13th Century.  Wine was taken so seriously that the 1479 bylaws required people to guard the vines starting 3 months prior to harvest as well as prohibiting the introduction of any foreign wines into the region to preserve the purity of the region’s wines. In 1514, it was ordered that no one was allowed to harvest the grapes until the “authorities” declared the grapes ripe enough to pick and press. Obviously times have changed, and in addition to the native grape varieties (Bobal, Tempranillo, Macabeo and Garnacha) international varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Merlot have been since introduced with excellent results.

Paco & Lola

Paco & Lola was founded in 2005 when a group of independent winegrowers from Val do Salnés partnered together to take their production to a professional level. These growers formed a cooperative called “Sociedad Cooperativa Vitivinícola Arousana”, and now with over 400 members is the largest cooperative belonging to the DO Rías Baixas, in the Galicia region (north west Spain, above Portugal).

Paco & Lola winery has more than 200 hectares of vineyards spread over more than 1,900 different lots. Albariño is considered the reigning white grape variety grown in Rias Baixas. It is an early ripening variety with small, tightly-packed clusters of sweet, deep golden berries at the time of ripening that are noted for their exceptional sugar-producing ability and remarkable high acidity.  The expression of any grape variety depends on the micro-climate, soil and geography of the vineyard site where it is grown. Albariño is no different and when grown in the Rías Baixas it thrives in a very particular combination of conditions: the oceanic climate of the nearby Atlantic coast; mineral-rich granite-based sandy soil and low-altitude lands.

From its beginning, Paco & Lola has been actively involved in sustainable production through its integrated management of wine grape growing practices that ensure the maximum respect for the environment. They are one of three members of LIFE + Viñas Atlánticas ( LIFE + Atlantic Vineyards), an innovative project through which winegrowers are committed to minimizing the use of chemical products using a variety of techniques and coordinated actions within the Environmental Management System.