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Pago de Carraovejas: Tradition and modernity

26/01/2021 Wineries

Pago de Carraovejas, one of the leading wineries of the D.O. Ribera del Duero, was set up with the dream of making high quality wine in a wine-growing area that was still not well-known in the 80s. Its founder, José María Ruiz, together with a group of friends from Segovia, knew exactly how to transform the concept of the wines served in Spanish restaurants, swapping the traditional jug for a well-known bottled wine.

Pago de Carraovejas wineyards

A dream come true

It all started when José María Ruiz, a young sommelier, represented Spain at the First World Sommelier Contest in Milan and out of the 60 participating countries, he won 5th place. This great achievement gave him the drive he needed to open his own restaurant in Segovia and serve his star dish: suckling pig with a homemade wine. To make this happen, he and a group of friends, who also love good food and good drink, decided to set up their own winemaking project on the slopes of Carraovejas, in Peñafiel. He chose this location because it is the historic centre of Ribera del Duero, it is close to Segovia and the local slopes are considered by the town elders as the best place to grow grapes. Their estate lies in an unbeatable location where the rivers meet and it is protected from the cold by an imposing hill and Peñafiel castle. In short, this is a unique microclimate that produces high quality fruit and thanks to some cutting edge mountain viticulture, Pago de Carraovejas has managed to get the best out of it.

Specialist work

Having a clear aim of making a unique wine that would be the perfect accompaniment to the suckling pig, José María Ruiz makes use of his deep knowledge of the land and the wines that existed in the area. At that time, Ribera del Duero was not yet famous, but he perfectly understood the quality standards and he did not hesitate to put them into practice for his own project. To begin with, he took a chance on varieties other than the local star variety: the Tinto Fino. That made him the first person to make a coupage with 25% Cabernet Sauvignon. He was also a pioneer in installing drip irrigation throughout the estate to guarantee the vineyard had the right amount of water at all times and he was also an early adopter of using French oak barrels for aging wine. So through nature’s qualities combined with avant-garde knowledge, he managed to release some unique wines that have been internationally celebrated from the beginning.

From the first harvest in 1991 to this day, Pago de Carraovejas has grown gradually both in the vineyard and in the winery, and they now have 200 hectares of vineyards and more than 14,000 m2 of buildingsTheir growth has been thoughtful and respectful, combining tradition and innovation to maintain a high quality standard that have really drawn people’s attention to this unique Ribera del Duero winery.

Three great wines from this winery

Pago de Carraovejas

Pago de Carraovejas

Fine and elegant, this wine is a coupage of the Tinto Fino, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot varieties. Designed for those who love a mid-palate marked by well-integrated wood and in perfect harmony with the fruit, this wine is aged for 12 months in new and semi-new (up to 3 years old) fine-grain French and American oak barrels.

Pago de Carraovejas El Anejón

Pago de Carraovejas El Anejón

Made from a single plot, this is a rare wine with a unique identity. Aged for 12 long months in French oak barrels, this is a little gem that was made to celebrate the winery’s 25th anniversary. Powerful, mature and well structured, this is a great wine from the Ribera del Duero.

Pago de Carraovejas Cuesta de las Liebres

Pago de Carraovejas Cuesta de las Liebres

This is a premium wine that is only made in the best vintages. A red wine that has been aged for 24 months in new, extra fine grain French and American oak barrels. And despite its voluptuousness and long finish, this wine stands out for its elegance and delicacy.
If you have the chance to try Pago de Carraovejas wines, take it. You are sure to really love the elegant and fine character of the Ribera del Duero. These attributes are so characteristic of this young but well-established Denomination of Origin that it has won over those who love wines with a barrel influence.