• The Best Wine Is Always In the Making at Bodegas Vega Sicilia

    The Best Wine Is Always In the Making at Bodegas Vega Sicilia
    The beginning of the winemaking story of Ribera del Duero, which has become one of the most important wine regions in the world, dates back over 2,000 years but perhaps it was in 1864, when Bodegas Vega Sicilia was founded, that the story of this extraordinary region began to take shape. It was then when winemaker, Eloy Lecanda y Chaves, began to plant vines at the estate, making Vega Sicilia the pioneering winery of Ribera del Duero. Fast forward more than 150 years and under the guidance of Pablo Álvarez, who believes “The best wine is always in the making”, Vega Sicilia has become an iconic winery with a forward-thinking mentality.
    Pablo Álvarez has been leading the winery since 1985 after the Álvarez family acquired it in 1982. Under his leadership, his team has modernized the winery and vineyards while preserving its historic core values. One of the most interesting projects of the transformation was the planting of their very own cork tree forest so that they can control the quality of the corks they use for their wines. It is undertakings with this visionary spirit that illustrate how laser-focused Pablo and his team are on making the best wines in the world. Some other impactful changes under Pablo’s guidance are the implementation of organic farming practices and the creation of their cooperage to craft their barrels.
    The winery, which is located on a stretch of Ribera del Duero known as the Golden Mile, is a beautiful ensemble of historic and modern spaces. Some of these buildings, like the chapel, are reminders that Vega Sicilia has always been a family-focused estate. Actually, the chapel is the inspiration for the label of the Vega Sicilia Valbuena 5° wines. The name Valbuena is also a reflection of how proud they are of their community as Valbuena de Duero is the name of the town in which the winery is located.
    The meticulous attention to detail throughout the winery and the beauty of their storied cellars is something that incites awe and at the same time illustrates their standard of excellence. We were fortunate to visit during harvest and it was amazing to see the cleanliness throughout the winery during the busiest and messiest time of the year. That same standard of excellence is showcased in their vineyards where some of the best grapes in the world are grown. While exploring their grounds it became clear to us how they consistently produce transcendent wines.
    Our tasting at Bodegas Vega Sicilia began with the 2019 Oremus Mandolás, a dry white wine from their sister winery in Hungary made using the Furmint grape. We found it to be vibrant and crisp and a great way to begin the memorable experience. Following the Mandolás we tasted the 2018 Valbuena 5° which is aged over 5 years between barrel and bottle. The wine showcased delicious fresh fruit and was beautifully balanced. The blend for this vintage was 96% Tinto Fino (Tempranillo) and 4% Merlot. The 2013 Unico, made from 97% Tinto Fino and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon was the third wine we tasted. The wine was an opulence of elegance with the fruit showcasing itself in a silky way throughout the palate. A display of fine tannins on the back palate serves as a reminder that this wine will be a great companion to a special meal and that it will age gracefully for years to come. To close out our tasting we enjoyed the 2016 Oremus 5 Puttonyos Tokaji Aszú which might be the most balanced dessert wine we have had the opportunity to enjoy. The harmony between the sugar and the acidity along with the beautiful honey notes on the palate make this one a must try.
    Having the opportunity to visit this iconic winery and getting to understand the vision of the Bodegas Vega Sicilia team has helped us better appreciate the magical journey their wines reflect. An experience we will forever cherish.