Spain’s top women winemakers

Begoña Jovellar


As winemaker at Vega Sicilia, Begoña Jovellar has one of the top jobs in the Spanish wine industry. Custodian of arguably Spain’s most revered red – Vega Sicilia Unico – Jovellar modestly goes about making some of the finest wines in the country while keeping a low profile.

Having worked as a biology professor, she went on to gain a second degree in oenology, majoring in clonal selection. “Once you enter the world of wine it traps you forever and you never escape,” she jokes, adding, “I strive to conserve the Vega Sicila style of wines that are full of energy in older age and are almost eternal.” Among her many projects at the 240-hectare is developing a white version of Unico.

Who or what made you want to become a winemaker? I majored in biology and became a biology professor. I heard of advanced studies in viticulture and oenology, which I completed. Then followed studies in clonal selection and my oenology degree.

How would you describe your winemaking style?  I am part of a historical, legendary winery where raw materials and traditional winemaking are treated with maximum respect, relying on technology and end-to-end quality assurance in all of our processes, yet always preserving the essence of traditional winemaking.

What is the single wine you’re most proud of so far and why? I feel they are all my children. We try to obtain the best of each harvest though the weather conditions along the vineyard´s life cycle will always mark the vintage. Nonetheless, special Unico vintages like 1998, 2000 and 2004 come to mind.

Has it been tough getting to the top of a male dominated industry? Today there are more women in the industry than years ago, so I feel this will change in future generations. Working in a male dominated sector is a challenge but working hard and focusing on doing the best you can, is very satisfying.

Desert island wine: Vega Sicilia Unico 2000 – a great vintage from an epic year.

8 Responses to “Spain’s top women winemakers”

  1. Jose Ruisanchez says:

    thanks and you should have mentioned Doña Maria of Montebello/Osborne, a true pathbreaker for the others

  2. Ana says:

    I am very happy when I see a woman leading wine projects with such a success. Congratulations!!

  3. Jacob says:

    Daphne Gloria is not spaniard, should not have been included. She is a US citizen born in Switzerland, making 1 wine in Spain, and selling spanish wines in the United States of America.

  4. Women should not be downgraded from mere housewife alone. Even a housewife is a hard job, it’s a 24/7 workout. Now with regards to winemaking, it doesn’t state in any book or any law that a woman cannot be a winemaker. If a woman is equipped with the knowledge of doing so then so be it. Whether winemaker, engineer, carpenter, driver or any hard our jobs, we should acknowledge equality whatever genre we are in.

  5. Woman should come in front of the society without minding all restrictions from the family and the society. This article really an inspiration for woman who want to break the wall of restrictions. waiting for more posts like this.

  6. Feeling very proud to hear this.A women can do any thing.Very glad to hear that a women can lead something and made a success.It will be very inspiring for the whole other women community.

  7. showbox apk says:

    Really such a amazing post dear.

  8. chrisgail says:

    I want to say those women congratulation on their success.

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