Top 10 winemakers to watch in Spain

CASTILLA Y LEÓN

MASTER: MARIANO GARCÍA

Mariano-GarciaWhile now a flag-bearer for Castilla y León, 70-year-old Mariano García made his name at famed Ribera del Duero estate Vega Sicilia, where he was chief winemaker for 30 years between 1968 and 1998, creating sister estate, Alion, in 1991.

“I find wine’s capacity to evoke emotion and be a part of the most special moments of people’s lives, very special,” he says. Having crafted wines that net huge sums at auction today, in 1998 García moved to Bodegas Mauro in Castilla y León.

His trio of wines shun DO status as he finds the restrictions that come with it too limiting. His top wine, Terreus, is made from a single vineyard, Paraje de Cueva Baja, planted with 50- year-old Tempranillo and Garnacha in clay and sand soils.

“The nobility and opulence of Tempranillo has allowed me to make wines of enormous class and refinement,” he says, adding, “In order for a vine to express its full potential, as a grower you have to give the best of yourself every day.”

Boasting boundless energy and an inquisitive mind, in addition to Mauro, García runs Bodegas Aalto in Ribera del Duero, which he founded with Javier Zaccagnini in 1999. He also makes a wine called San Román in Toro, where he aims to strike the ideal balance between power and elegance, and is experimenting with Godello in Bierzo.

“With this project, I hope to make my first great white. Bierzo will allow me to make a complex, fresh white with a mineral character that will bring something new to the table in Spain,” he says. García’s ultimate goal is to consolidate his three projects and make each of them “icons” of their respective regions.

One Response to “Top 10 winemakers to watch in Spain”

  1. nate houston says:

    How is Raul Perez not a part of this list???? Or Alberto Orte???

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