One of the newest adventures for Alvaro Palacios has been helping lead family winery. A staunch advocate of the concept of ´vino de pago´, or wines from a single plot, he has ensured that the land and vineyards define the identity of the wines at Palacios Remondo, which has key to the success of this winery. Since joining the family winery in 2000, together with his sister Chelo, along with a renovation of the wineries facilities,the style of wine Palacios Remondo has been reformed significantly in a few years, especially with the commitment to give greater relevance to the local Grenache variety.
To talk about Palacios Remondo is to also reference its founder Jose Palacios Remondo, son of a family linked to the world of wine for 150 years. It was him who planted a selection of traditional varieties from the eastern Rioja, and wanted to produce high quality wines in short time, during a period when the area was dominated by cooperatives and bulk wine intented to compliment wines from the Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa. However, over the years and with a different vision, he prepared his 8 children for careers in viticulture and the world of wine, working with them on the vineyards, training them in the best schools of enology and viticulture, and carry out practices and exchanges with the best wineries and wine regions of the world.
History of the Winery
The winery was founded by Jose Palacios Remondo in 1945 in the city of Alfaro, in the famous Rioja Baja region. Over time, children of José Palacios have grown and helped modernize the facilities at the winery, leaving their mark on the designs of the wines at the family winery. Following the death of Jose Palacios Remondo is 2000, his children Chelo took over the business affairs of the winery, while Alvaro Palacios was placed in charge of art direction. The two have managed to contribute greatly to the family winery, and in little time have been able to extract and express the best of the grape varieties and the terroir, as reflected in their wines.
The winery is currently home to 110 hectares of vineyards, situated to the west of Alfaro, at the foot of the mountains of the Sierra de Yerga, at 1,101m, which closes in the south of the Ebro valley. The vineyards stretch across the plots of Valtomelloso, Valviejo and Valfrío, which between them form the La Montesa wine estate, while the nearby Las Mulgas and Quiñón Valmira plots represent the most traditional and oldest winemaking and viticulture of the family. The vineyards are situated around 550 metres above sea level, on rough textured calcareous clay soils, poor in organic matter, with a petrocalcic background that limits the vigor of the plants and, at the same same, gives the wines like mineral notes. The winery cultivates a range if grape varieties, including Garnacha Tinta, Tempranillo, Mazuelo y Graciano, and 4 hectares of white Viura in Valltomelloso.
The winery is still located in its original location, practically in the centre of Alfaro. The facilities are a luxury in aseptic, cutting-edge technology with sorting tables, stainless steel tanks and temperature controls, with French oak barrels from the best coopers and a collection of oval fudres of various sizes and different backgrounds.
The work carried out at Palacios Remondo focuses on the importance of nature and the land, where the natural elements of the old and mineral soils, the character of the terroir and the climate of each location helps define the viticulture applied that can help express the character of the wines. In short, the full identity of each place and region.
The vineyards are worked and cultivated without the use of any chemical treatments. This is continued at the winery where there is no intervention of foreign yeasts and again no use of other chemical treatments or products. All in all Palacios’ respect for the earth, nature, environment and native varieties make it a winery committed to produce wines with maximum transparency and purity.
The vineyards are situated in a region with a Mediterranean climate with Atlantic influences, where rainfall is scarce, and sunshine is around 2,600 hours a year. For Palacios Remondo it’s clear that this area, given its heritage and the climate with strong Mediterranean influence, the winery focuses on the use of the Grenache variety, since it develops a long and consistent growth cycle with a drier and bright geo-climatic rhythm.
Wines from the Palacios Remondo winery.
Currently the wines by Palacios Remondo consist of three reds and one white. These are,
Plácet de Valtomelloso. This wine is made exclusively with Viura, taken from 4 hectares cultivated in the heart of the La Montesa estate, in the Valtomelloso vineyard. Only 30,000 bottles of this wine are produced per harvest. This wine undergoes fermentation in (2,000litre) oak oval fudres, where it develops a richness and refinement of an unctuous win that is the purest expression of its place of origin, the highlands of the Rioja Oriental. Plácet claims the tradition of a white Riojan wine.
La Vendimia. This is a young red wine that comes from the winery’s youngest vines, as well as independent growers who have contributed their fruits, helping express the union of different areas of Rioja; the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. The wine is an equal blend of Garnacha and Tempranillo, which gives this wine a special character. It is light, well defined, while its short ageing of 4 months in vats and oak barrels adds slight body and complexity. Alvaro Palacios has defined this wine with the classic Riojan concept “wine de Segundo año”, i.e if you think the wine is good, you know it will be even better after a year in the bottle. It is a floral wine, vivacious, versatile, stimulating, profound and yet somewhat with tannic strength.
La Montesa. This is perhaps the flagship of the winery, a wine capable of transmitting the harmony of a landscape that stretches over 90 hectares of vineyards on a calcareous clay soil at the Sierra de Yerga, where Garnacha grapes (70%), planted in 1989 express the traditional flavour, while the Tempranillo and Mazuelo complete harmony between fudres upbringing and barrels.
Propiedad Viñas Traditonales. This wine is made exclusively with the Garnacha grape variety, taken from 5 selected vinyards, offering the uniqueness of the Yerga Valley, from 20 hectares in the plots of Valmira, Valfrío, Las Mulgas, Valviejo and Corral de Serrano. The wine is aged for 12 months in barrels and fudres. Fresh fruits, strawberries, raspberries, nectarines and cherries, with a fleshiness and fluidity that invokes its origin in the scrubland, with chamomile and rosemary flower and citrus notes of red grapefruit skin.
After years of testing, just as he did in the Priorat with his wine L'Ermita, and then in the Bierzo with La Faraona, Alvaro Palacios is getting ready to release his next great wine; Valmira, a Garnacha varietal from the estate of the same name. We'll wait expectantly.