This winery is a joint venture between Benjamin Rotschild & Vega Sicilla which began back in 1999. The partnership was not made public until mid-2010, where it was announced that the prestigious Spanish winery Vega Sicilia along with Benjamin Rothschild Group, a shareholder in the legendary Château Lafite and owner in several wineries in Argentina, South Africa and New Zealand, had chosen Sonsierra, a small town of Samaniego, to implement their first major project in La Rioja.
This new project is included within the TEMPOS Vega Sicilia framework, which has grown by introducing new wineries in production areas with sufficient quality and differentiation potential, the group gathers at present 5 companies: Bodegas Vega Sicily SA, Bodegas Alión SA, Bodegas Pintia SA, Tokaj-Oremus Kft., and now the current Benjamin de Rothschild & Vega Sicilia SA
The collaboration came together in 1999, with the help of the riojan winery Fernando Remierz de Ganuza, gradually acquiring farms in the Sonsierra (San Vicente and Labastida). Today the winery cultivates and cares for over 70 hectares of vineyards, with the vines ages ranging between 35 and 90 years old, however the winery also plants their own strains.
Construction of their new winery began in mid-2014 and will be completed in June 2016, with hope that they will be able to produce wine there from the harvest of the same year. By this time, the winery is scheduled to then span over 85 hectares of land of vineyards.
The winery is located northeast of the town of Samaniego, less than 2 kilometers from the centre, in a place known as "San Millan" and has an area of 45,473 m2. Its design was designed by Enrique Johansson and is quite spectacular. It has an elongated rectangular shape, with extended southwest corner in a "bird's beak" and enjoys stunning views of the Sierra de Cantabria to the north and the Ebro valley to the south with populations Samaniego, Leza and the background the Sierra de Ezcaray. The architecture of the winery meets the principles of respect and sensitivity to the environment and landscape. Its exterior image emulates three independent but related vessels, and is divded across 4 floors, and is adapted to the natural slope of the terrain. Since its inception, the winery has committed to sustainability in terms of reducing consumption, emissions of greenhouse gases, waste disposal and electricity consumption.
Attention to detail is paramount during all phases of the wines production, starting with the management of the estate and vineyards. This is an essential priority, and it is carried out with absolute respect for the environment. In regards to the viticulture, only organic fertilizers are used, no herbicide treatments are used, only natural and biological pest control techniques are carried out. After the harvest has been carried out at the grapes are transported to the winery, the ripe and healthy grapes go through a selection table before starting the winemaking process.
However, only one wine is really produced, since the hypothetical two remain together at alltimes, and are treated exactly the same from the vineyard up until the ageing process. After the alcoholic fermentation, the malolactic process is carried out with 30% in barrel sand the remaining 70% in tanks. The aging takes place in extra-fine and fine grain French wood, the majority in new barrels and the rest in one-wine barrels.
It is during this ageing process that the wine used for Macan and Macan Classic are selected. They are bottled separately and continue their reductive aging in the bottle until being placed market.The idea is to preserve the tradition of Rothschild Bordeaux and produce a first and a second wine.
Wines from the winery Benjamin Rothschild & Vega Sicilia
In 2013, the 2009 vintage was released onto the market and until 2015, the winery was renting a vinifaction area. The first 2009 harvest carried out produced 90,000 bottles of Macan and Macan Clasico. The winery aims to produce 350,000 bottles in total, depending on the crops, but will never define the number of units for for its wine production, as it depends on the number of first selected Macan barrels of wine.
The idea is that the Macan Clásico is the more expressive of the terroir, a friendly and pleasant drink not lacking a distinct character, but also with a simplicity that makes it very attractive.