[Cellar Talks] S04E05 Bodega Sei Solo – Javier Zaccagnini

On Friday the 28th of January we are joined by Javier Zaccagnini from Bodega Sei Solo in episode 5, season 4, of our talk show Cellar Talks. Javier runs one of the most promising wine projects in Spain’s Ribera del Duero, producing excellent Tempranillo reds, together with his son Michael.

About Sei Solo

Bodega Sei Solo is located in Spain’s famous Ribera del Duero region. More specifically in La Horra. It is here where Javier Zaccagnini decided to pursue new adventures with a leading role for the Tempranillo grape. The winery produces two wines: Sei Solo, and Preludio, both representing the artistic vision of Javier Zaccagnini.

Javier’s two newest babies might have been born in the 2011 vintage, but they were conceived back in 2007 with the purchase of some 60-year-old vines, organically grown, in the top Ribera village of La Horra. The original and true aim was clear; to make a wine that whilst remaining a Ribera, leant purely towards Javier’s own personal tastes, with an emphasis on finesse, elegance, and nuance at the expense of structure and overt wood influence. 

Given the greatness of La Horra’s terroirs, Javier also wanted to allow the singular qualities and personality of the village to shine through. As a result, all vineyards are fermented separately in different deposits of various sizes to adapt to the yield of each plot. The vines are cultivated organically with no chemicals, fertilisers, or fungicides.

For Sei Solo all the fruit must come from the village of La Horra and be from very old vineyards (60 to 110 years old) with extremely low yield and superb balance.  This wine is not made every year. The magnificent character of that terroir shows clearly through. This wine has a style of its own, like none and is not the typical Ribera del Duero concentrated wine, rather a subtle and elegant wine, where finesse and balance are favoured.

For Preludio the fruit comes from three villages: La Horra (young and old vines), Gumiel de Izan (60-year-old vines) and Moradillo (40-year-old vines). This is a wine made every year and has a Ribera del Duero character.

About Javier Zaccagnini

Javier’s first job in the wine industry was in a company that he started from scratch called Vinhispania which was dedicated to exporting Spanish wines. In 1992 he was headhunted to become the first director of a Regional Governing Body in Spain’s wine sector, the Consejo Regulador of Ribera del Duero. This entity acts as that wine region’s official Quality Control Board equivalent to an A.O.C. in France. He worked there for six years, helping to put Ribera del Duero on the international map of great wine regions.

By then his love for the wine world had turned into a passion and his dream was to start a winery. The opportunity arose when Mariano Garcia, former oenologist of Vega Sicilia, accepted his proposal to found a new winery together. Thus, AALTO was born in 1999, where Javier held the positions of General Manager, Director and Company Secretary as a Member of the Board.

In 2005 he followed an instinct to move into the world of fine white wine and founded OSSIAN, a boutique winery in the vine-growing region denominated as Rueda (D.O. Rueda). This project harvested organic grapes from extremely old ungrafted Verdejo vines that were cultivated on their own roots.

Both above-named wines have won international acclaim and have been voted the best red and white wines of Spain in several years. 

In 2007, Javier decided to make his own red wine, with a view to expressing his personal understanding of the true essence of Ribera del Duero. He had been fortunate enough to find and buy four exceptional plots of very old vines in the prime terroir surrounding the village of La Horra. These were to provide the viticultural reassurance that enabled him to start his Sei Solo winery. His aim was to make exceptionally elegant and refined wines, even if this was at the expense of power and structure. He was determined to ensure that finesse and fruit prevailed in his wines. After fine-tuning his project over the vintages of 2007 through 2010, he was finally satisfied in 2011 and decided to bottle his wine and release it for sale. He made two wines, Sei Solo as his first wine and Preludio as his second wine. Both received high praise and accolades by critics and wine enthusiasts, and the limited production sold out in weeks.

In 2018 Javier was joined in the family winery by his son Michael, who, after having graduated in Viticulture and Oenology from Madrid, completed his practice period in Burgundy, Bordeaux, and New Zealand. Michael joined the company in 2015 as its oenologist and technical director. In 2019 Javier and Michael moved to new premises in the village of Roa de Duero, close to their vineyards. They have since managed to buy and rent additional plots of old vines, which now total 20 hectares. Sei Solo has developed a very personal style and produces 50,000 bottles a year of high-quality wines that are exported to 12 different countries.

About the Tasting

During the show we will taste their 2018 Preludio, the winery’s second wine. If you want to join us in the tasting during the show you can order your bottle online. For all Dutch and Belgian followers Ad Bibendum offers the 2018 vintage of this wine through this link.

We are looking forward to talking to Javier and learning from his background, experiences and the winery. Be sure to tune in on Instagram Live through our Dutch Wine Apprentice account on Friday the 28th of January, 19:30h CET.

Click here for instructions on how to follow a live show on Instagram Live. If you have questions for our guest you are welcome to prepare them and e-mail them to us or send them as a direct message on our Instagram account.

You can find a link to the recording of the show here.