[Cellar Talks] Ediciones Especiales – Ep. 5 Pago de Vallegarcia

For this special edition season we are teaming up with an organisation that is successfully showcasing how different terroir and wines can be throughout Spain; Grandes Pagos de Espana. In 6 episodes we will talk about the diversity of Spain, it’s history, present and future and we will guide you through 5 prominent and promising wine regions. 

Each region will be represented by one of the local stars, and members of Grandes Pagos de Espana. In this fifth episode Adolfo Hornos from Pago de Vallegarcia is our guest. Pago de Vallegarcia is a member of the association and an innovative, state of the art, winery located on Spain’s South Plateau. They focus on growing French grape varieties like Viognier, Syrah and Bordeaux varities. We will learn what Grandes Pagos de Espana means for Adolfo and what the characteristics are for the region, vineyards, grapes and wines.

About Pago de Vallegarcia 

Finca Vallegarcia is located in one of the best examples of Mediterranean forest in the world, in a unique natural environment, which preserves flora and fauna of great ecological value and landscapes of nature still intact. Their philosophy as a winery is to produce high quality wines, with a balanced composition from grapes exclusively from their own Pago, harvested by hand at the optimal time of maturation and suitable for aging in barrels and aging in bottles. This leads to wines with respect for the typicality of each of the varieties and at the same time the expression of the terroir of Pago de Vallegarcía.

In 1997, inspired by his great fondness for the great wines of Bordeaux and Burgundy, D. Alfonso Cortina de Alcocer commissioned the renowned Australian viticulture professor, Dr. Richard Smart, to plan the planting of a vineyard on his estate Vallegarcía, located in the Montes de Toledo. 

The first vineyard was planted in 1999 and the first harvest was harvested in 2001. During the next four years, the quality potential of the grapes was evaluated, producing small batches of wine in the facilities of the nearby winery, Dehesa del Carrizal. The quality of the first wines, recognized by prestigious critics, including Robert Parker, encouraged D. Alfonso Cortina to build his own winery. On September 14, 2006, H. M. King Don Juan Carlos I inaugurated the premises of the winery.

The Vallegarcía vineyard is located 850 m above sea level, in the Montes de Toledo region and covers an area of 50 hectares. The climate of this region is continental, with hot and dry summers and cold and humid winters, with an average annual rainfall 622mm. The soil is formed by highly evolved acidic materials from the erosion of the oldest mountains of the Iberian Peninsula. The erosion of the Toledo Mountains leads to very poor and acidic soils, which must be fertilized constantly but which have the peculiarity of being highly evolved. The vines grow on a surface of Spider. It is a system of alluvial deposits coming from the fronts of the mountains and formed by highly weathered slates and blocks of quartzites on a sandy matrix. This combination is very suitable for making great wines.

The six varieties of French origin that were initially planted on the estate: the Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Viognier. Valley, Later in 2018 new varieties where added to the estate: Garnacha, Cariñena and Monastrell, who have also perfectly adapted to the terroir of Vallegarcia.

The current portfolio consists of Vallegarcía Viognier, Vallegarcía Syrah, Hipperia and Petit Hipperia (the last two are Bordeaux style blends). The wines are produced under the supervision and advice of Eric Boissenot, wine advisor at Lafite Rothschild, Latour, Margaux and Mouton Rothschild, among others. Pago de Vallegarcía is his only project in Spain.

About Adolfo Hornos

Adolfo Hornos is the head winemaker and general manager at Pago de Vallegarcia. He is an agronomist, Master in Oenology and Viticulture, and works at Vallegarcía since the beginning of the project. 

At first he was responsible for the vineyard and the assessment of its qualitative potential. He subsequently took part in the development of the project of the winery, planned the production process and carried out its implementation go. At present, he directs the technical team of the winery, is directly responsible for the handling of the vineyard and of the production of wines, in addition to taking an active part in the marketing in close cooperation with those responsible for the export market and the domestic market.

About the Tasting

During the show we will taste their 2019 Vallegarcia Viognier. The ‘Pago de Vallegarcía’ Viognier is unique in Spain. It is complex, elegant and strikingly pleasant to all those who taste it. It is paradoxical to speak of a white wine with structure and personal character, in an area where white wine never stood out for its quality. Made from 100% Viognier grapes and aged for 6 months in oak barrels.

We are looking forward to talking to Adolfo and learn more about Grandes Pagos de Espana, Pago de Vallegarcia and Spain’s great South Plateau including the D.O.P Pago de Vallegarcia. Be sure to tune in on Instagram Live through our Dutch Wine Apprentice account on Friday the 17th of December, 19:30h CET.

All shows are recorded and can also be watched on our IGTV channel (also accessible through our instagram profile). If you did not have a chance to tune in for our previous seasons you can watch the recordings through this link. We are also converting all previous episodes into Podcasts, more information and links to that can be found here.

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.