WINERYMARQUÉS DE VARGAS
The history of the wines of Marqués de Vargas date back to 1840 when Felipe de la Mata, 8th Marquis of Vargas, made the first plantations of vines in the Hacienda Pradolagar, near Logroño. In 1989, Pelayo de la Mata, 11th Marquis of Vargas, and his brothers saw their father’s dream come to fruition with the construction of the current cellar on the banks of the River Ebro, in the heart of La Rioja. Marqués de Vargas was created with a philosophy which was very different to that of the traditional Rioja bodegas, a conception of winemaking inspired by the French Châteaux, producing Reservas and Gran Reservas exclusively from the grapes of their own vineyards situated just a few metres from the winery. Wines with a limited production, the typical style of the region and the singular character and identity of a unique terroir.
The Hacienda Pradolagar estate has 52 hectares of vines divided into 32 plots according to the soil type, climate and grape variety. Vines aged between 33 and 50 years’ old which are cultivated without resorting to the use of any form of herbicides or pesticides. The bodega is designed to serve the vineyards. The wines mature in unsurpassable conditions in selected French-oak casks from the best cooperages. Here is where the great Marqués de Vargas wines for laying down are produced, wines which have been honoured with the prestigious ranking of “Singular Vineyards” by the DOCa Rioja thanks to the extraordinary characteristics of their plots, the difference in their vinification and ageing process, and to the respect for the traditional manual harvesting process.
Our History dates back to the year 1840, when Felipe de la Mata, 8th Marquis of Vargas, decided to plantar the first vines in the Hacienda Pradolagar estate. The family legacy continued with his sons, Pelayo and his brother Francisco, 9th? Marquis of Vargas, a celebrated figure in Logroño who was to become city Mayor at the end of the 19th century. Both brothers had a passionate interest in the vines of Pradolagar.
However, the next generation was the one that particularly marked the history of this house. Don Hilario de la Mata, father of the current Marquis, like his predecessors, was passionately interested in the world of wine. President of a major group of bodegas and co-owner of another company in the sector, he always dreamed having a bodega which would bear the family title. Sadly he died young and was not able to see his dream come true.
In 1989, Pelayo de la Mata, 11th? Marquis of Vargas and Count of San Cristóbal, together with his brothers, realised his father’s dream by building the wine cellar in the middle of the family estate, in the heart of the Rioja Alta.
Historically the bodegas of La Rioja have based their wine business on the purchase of grapes and wine from different growers in the various zones that make up the appellation. However, Marqués de Vargas was created with a very different philosophy to that of the traditional Rioja bodegas: a concept inspired by the French wine Châteaux, making Reservas and Gran Reservas exclusively using the grapes from their own estate vineyards situated just a few metres from the winery. Wines with a limited production, the typical style of the region and the singular character and identity of a unique terroir.
The Hacienda Pradolagar estate has 52 hectares of vines divided into 32 plots according to the soil type, climate and grape variety. This division into sectors is the result of a detailed mapping survey carried out by a great team of people with a vision closely linked to the land: Ana Barrón, the Marqués de Vargas oenologist, Xavier Ausás, a winemaking consultant, and David Pernet, prestigious vineyard mapping expert and founder of the Bordeaux company, SOVIVINS.
The vineyard is the “Palace garden”. The vine plants are doted on all through the year as if it was a garden, following sustainable agriculture methods, with no herbicides or pesticides, pruning them and green harvesting the excess grapes in order to increase the quality of the harvest. Picking is performed by hand and by plot, with the first selection process taking place in the vineyard itself. The grapes are placed in 12 kilo crates and are taken to cooling chambers within minutes of picking. The overnight cooling of the clusters has recognised benefits for the quality of the wine.
The vats in the vinification area are the technical mirror image of the division into plots in the vineyard. The bodega is designed to serve the vineyards. The wines mature in unsurpassable conditions in selected French-oak casks from the best cooperages. Here is where the great Marqués de Vargas wines for laying down are produced, wines which have been honoured with the prestigious ranking of “Singular Vineyards” by the DOCa Rioja thanks to the extraordinary characteristics of their plots, the difference in their vinification and ageing process, and to the respect for the traditional manual harvesting process.
“The great reception that the Marqués de Vargas Reserva wines enjoyed from the market encouraged the De la Mata family to widen their winemaking legacy to other Spanish wine making appellations of renown, in regions which satisfied the same quality criteria of top of the range wines, estate vineyards and limited production.
First the family bought the historic Pago de Valdestremero vineyards, which were already producing the grapes for making the wines which were served at the court of king Philip II in Valladolid, in the 16th century, as is witnessed by the first land registration entry of the estate. Situated on the outskirts of Peñafiel, in the famous “Golden Mile” of the Ribera del Duero, it was named Bodegas y Viñedos del Conde de San Cristóbal due to the links of the first Count, Julián de San Cristóbal y Eguiarreta, Oydor (Judge) of the Real Chancillería of Valladolid with the region. Jorge Peique, our oenologist, and Xavier Ausá work shoulder to shoulder to produce great wines with the typicity of the zone and the singular character and identity of the terroir from which they come.
Every year, on 15 January, devoted pilgrims make their way to a small chapel constructed in a pretty corner of Galicia, on the shores of the Río Miño, to make offerings to Saint Mauro (in Galician, San Amaro) and ask him for protection against rheumatic illnesses. The chapel, built in 1582 in his honour by a noble, cross-border family, the Pereira de Castro, forms part of the Pazo de San Mauro, where today the excellent wines which bear his name are produced.
The latest acquisition of the family is this Pazo San Mauro, a historic pazo (estate) in the Rías Baixas whose origins date back to the 16th century and whose winery is considered to be one of the oldest in Europe. Its 20 has. of vineyards descend in terraces towards the south, creating a natural amphitheatre, enveloped by the magic and mystery of the Miño. This is the scene of the labours of our oenologist, Susana Pérez, carefully giving these really ancient vineyards the devoted attention they deserve.
Nowadays, Bodegas y Viñedos del Marqués de Vargas is a solid winemaking project, the fruit of hard work, perseverance and the far-reaching vision of four generations of a family dedicated to wine.
ENOTOURISM CONTACT INFORMATION
+34 941 261 401