Albariño and Sherry pioneers become Caballeros

Marisol Bueno of Rías Baixas estate Pazo de Señorans and Peter J Dauthieu of UK importer Ehrmanns have been inducted into the Gran Orden de Caballeros del Vino for their “outstanding contribution” to the Spanish wine industry.

Marisol Bueno and Peter J Dauthieu

The pair were inducted into the Gran Orden de Caballeros del Vino by the Spanish ambassador at a black tie ceremony held at The Dorchester hotel on London’s Park Lane last week.

Founded in 1984, the Gran Orden, which now has 64 members, recognises those who have gone “above the call of duty” in their promotion of Spanish wines.

During the dinner guests enjoyed a Spanish-inspired menu specially curated by chef Henri Brosi, and a selection of some of the top Spanish wines in the UK.

Having started life as a science teacher, in 1979 Marisol Bueno’s career changed paths when she decided to plant Albariño at her estate in Rías Baixas at a time when the grape was virtually unknown outside of Spain.

In 1986 she was appointed President of the Regulatory Board for Albariño, and three years later Rías Baixas obtained Denomination of Origin status.

Bueno remained at the helm of the consejo for a further two decades, working tirelessly to raise the profile of Rías Baixas wines, and has been a pivotal figure in leading the DO to where it is today.

Pazo de Señorans was founded in 1989 by Bueno and her husband Javier Mareque – a revered traumatologist from Pontevedra.

Having snapped up a charming 16th century country house in the Salnés Valley in the ‘70s, the pair embarked on the ambitious project of making ageworthy Albariños that could stand shoulder to shoulder not only with the best whites in Spain, but in the world.

All of the Albariños made by the estate are grown on granite soils, hand harvested, then fermented in stainless steel tanks where they are aged for up to 30 months on lees for added complexity and depth, with further age in bottle before release.

Production across the range has increased from just 7,000 bottles in 1989 to 30,000 today.

Schooled in both England and Jerez de la Frontera, Peter Dauthieu Jnr has held various positions relating to Spanish wines over the years, having passed his WSET diploma in 1998, including a six-year stint at CVNE in Rioja.

He is currently director of UK importer Ehrmanns and managing director of Ehrmanns’ sister company Viniberia, which is based in Jerez.

A longtime lover of Sherry, Dauthier has done much to promote the wines of Jerez over the years and currently imports those made by Williams & Humbert and Cayetano del Pino into the UK.

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