Spain has a long history with winemaking. The wine Regions of Rioja and the Ribera del Duero have dominated the fine wine production within the Spanish borders for over a century. Until recently these regions were dominating the international export of fine wine from Spain. In the 1980’s and 1990’s, Spain went through a sort of renaissance in terms of winemaking and regions in which “fine wine” was being produced. One of the people at the forefront of this revolution is a man by the name of Alvaro Palacios.
Alvaro Palacios was born into a Rioja winemaking family and carried on the tradition by studying enology in Bordeaux and after working with Jean-Pierre Moueix at Ch. Petrus. During his time at Petrus, Palacios acquired an excellent winemaking philosophy that he then applied to his own aspirations of making elite wine in Spain.
Instead of returning to his family’s winery in Rioja, Palacios took an interest in a largely forgotten and remote region of Spain at the time; Priorat. Palacios was part of the original cooperative that made wines in a single winery from 5 distinct vineyards. The grapes were pooled and wine produced under the 5 different names. Finca Dofi then known as Clos Dofi was 1 of the 5 and was purchased by Palacios in 1990. In 1993 he acquired a vineyard that he name L’Ernita in reference to a small chapel on top of the hill. L’Ermita is now widely considered one of the top wines being produced in Spain. Palacios and his colleagues are credited to bringing a modern philosophy of winemaking and prestige to the region of Priorat; more specifically the village of Gratallops.
After his success in Priorat Palacios decided to reinvigorate another obscure wine region in Spain; Bierzo. Bierzo is in the northwest corner of Spain and is mostly planted with the Spanish grape Mencia. Palacios teamed up with his nephew, Ricardo Perez. Together they formed a winery specializing in the cultivation of old vine Mencia. They named the winery in after Palacios’s father, Descendientes de J. Palacios.
Alvaro Palacios has really been at the front of the “New Spain” movement. The wines are rivaling some of the established wineries in France and Italy; competing for top honors across Europe.
Come in and check out our selection of Palacios’s wine!