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Country of Origin: Spain
Location: Ribera del Duero, Castilla y León
People: Juan Carlos Vizcarra, Owner & Winemaker
Viticulture: Practicing Organic
|Bodegas Vizcarra 2020 'Senda del Oro Roble' Ribera del Duero DO||Login||—||In Stock|
The Vizcarra family’s legacy can be traced back to 1780, to a time when the family sold 16 liter demijohns of wine along the border zones of Segovia and Burgos. However, it wasn’t until recently that Ribera del Duero became a fashionable wine production area outside of a few well-known bodegas. In fact, until forty years ago, most of the region’s grapes were destined for bulk wine, showing no real sense of this special place. Fortunately, during the 1980s, José Manuel Vizcarra Aguado took notice of Ribera’s lackluster situation, knowing full well what its vines were capable of creating. He meticulously worked the land and planted new vines, capturing the attention of the top wineries in the region who needed to supplement their own vineyards with the excellent fruit from this family grower. By 1991, his son Juan Carlos joined him at the bodega and became the first in his family to make estate-bottled wines from the family vineyards.
After studying enology in Rioja, Juan Carlos returned to the family estate with more passion and enthusiasm than ever before, well-equipped and ready to take the reins. His unrelenting quest for the new and unknown led him to produce the first red wine from Ribera del Duero using carbonic maceration in 1995, way before the practice was as common as it is now. His efforts paid off and he immediately won multiple awards for the cuvée. Today, Vizcarra is one of the region’s most highly-awarded wineries, consistently gaining recognition for their advances in microvinification and impeccable, age-worthy bottles. Juan Carlos is also a pioneer of the ‘garagiste’ winemaking movement in Spain, promoting the vinification of small-batch, terroir-reflective wines in the style of former generations of growers.
The family’s legacy is growing, specifically through Juan Carlos’ two daughters Celia and Inés, for whom he has named his two best vineyards and top wines. Celia, the eldest, has inherited her father’s exacting nature and is studying winemaking in Catalonia, joining her father in the cellar when not at school. Inés, the younger sister, is the extroverted “boss” of the winery – and it’s easy to imagine 10 years from now a multi-lingual Ines explaining the pensive Celia’s work to winery visitors, both always carrying on the incredible Vizcarra family traditions and dedication.
Bodegas Vizcarra is comprised of 55 non-certified organically farmed hectares of vines, located at soaring altitudes nearly 3,000 feet above sea level. Ribera del Duero is one of the most extreme viticultural regions in the world, experiencing a rigorous continental climate characterized by low rainfall, extremely cold winter, spring, and autumn seasons, which bring high risks of frost to the vineyards. Summers are excruciatingly hot, though Tempranillo has adapted rather well to these conditions-- that is, so long as it’s guided by the hands of a meticulous farmer. Everything at Vizcarra is done by hand – from hoeing the rows to harvesting grapes into small boxes that are closer to what one might expect to find at a farmer’s market or grocery store than a commercial winery to keep the fruit in perfect shape. Herbs and wildflowers are planted among the vines to encourage competition for the water in the soil. In Ribera del Duero, the fruit’s biggest challenge is reaching an adequate level of tannin maturity while maintaining an appropriate balance of natural acidity. This is realized through attentive work in the vineyards, green harvest, sufficient canopy management, and allowing fruit to ripen without any sort of dehydration-- and Juan Carlos has mastered this craft.
Wine Advocate 12/2019
"Vizcarra is a very reliable winery in the village of Mambrilla de Castejón in Ribera del Duero, where they produce modern and clean examples of Tempranillo and also play with other grapes allowed in the zone. They own 42.5 hectares of vineyards, some very old, and manage a further 12 from other members of the family."
Wine Advocate 6/2011
"Bodegas Vizcarra Ramos is staking a claim as one of the finest estates in Ribera del Duero."
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