Spain’s women in wine to watch

Xandra Falcó

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Xandra Falcó’s wine roots run deep – her family has made wine in Spain since the 13th century. Working alongside her father, Carlos, Falcó is in charge of the running of their family estate, Marqués de Griñón in Castilla la Mancha.

The Falcós have been instrumental in shaping La Mancha’s premium-wine capabilities – Carlos was the first to introduce Cabernet, Syrah and Petit Verdot to the region in the ‘70s.

As chief executive, Xandra is helping to steer the estate on to its next chapter and broaden its reach to a new generation of consumers. “It was always my dream to work with my father and continue his legacy,” says Falcó, whose favourite part of her job is walking through the vineyards on crisp, bright winter mornings.

Who or what made you want to work in the wine industry? I grew up at Dominio de Valdepusa, our family estate, and it was always my dream to work with my father and try to continue his legacy. It’s a privilege to live  in the middle of the countryside surrounded by vineyards.

What is the proudest moment of your career so far? The first wine I made with my father and Julio, our winemaker, was a special moment. It was wonderful to find it in restaurants around the world. To produce a wine on your land, age it carefully and then see it admired over the world is an extraordinary feeling.

Has it been tough getting to the top of a male dominated industry? I have never felt a huge difference B.ing part of a wine family helps a lot and I haven’t had the difficulties other women have.

What is the most enjoyable part of your job? I love walking in the vineyard in winter. I know it’s not the nicest time of the year as it’s usually cold, but it helps me think and imagine the possibilities of what will happen during the year; the possibilities of the new harvest.

What is the most exciting aspect of the Spanish wine industry at the moment? Small independent winemakers are changing their approach to winemaking in many regions, and Spanish wines are starting to be recognised for their quality worldwide. There’s a real change taking place with white wines in regions like Vadeorras, Rías Baixas and Rueda, which are producing whites of outstanding quality.

Desert island wine: Marqués de Griñón Dominio de Valdepusa AAA 2004, a spicy, elegant 100% Graciano.

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