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Located in Valbuena del Duero, the Vega Sicilia Estate owns 985 hectares of land, of which 210ha are planted with vines. Originally founded in 1864 by Eloy Lecanda the vineyards were planted with cuttings of Bordeaux grape varieties which were planted next to Tempranillo.
Only later in 1915 the first Unico was produced by the Herrero family, who acquire the winery from Lecanda. Unico was made using techniques from Bordeaux that were used all around Spain at that time.
The estate was later purchased by Prodes, a company specialized in seeds, and then sold to Neuman, a Venezuelan family, but the turning point for the winery was in 1982 when the Alvarez family bought the property, and starting from 1983 the adoption of biodynamic growth was implemented, inspired by the advice of Madame Lalou Bize Leroy.
The Álvarez family has faced many challenges such as updating facilities, expanding the surface under vine to produce single estate wines; implementing high quality standards and making all the necessary changes to keep the winery’s reputation intact in an increasingly crowed and competitive wine world.
Vega Sicilia celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2014
The cellars include 81 fermentation vats in order to ferment plot by plot. This technique allows the grapes to be harvested when they are ripe, and not necessarily all at the same time. The Estate count with cold chambers to cool down the fruit that comes to the winery, sophisticated sorting tables, and a gravity system that feed the grapes directly into each vat, to avoid excessive oxidation from pumping.
Most of the wines are matured in new oak barrels, and every barrel is replaced once it reaches 6 years of use. The American oak barrels are still made in the winery, that is proud to have its own cooperage.
Vega Sicilia unique character is achieve due to its long aging in barrel and bottle before being released. Only around 100.000 bottles of Unico are produced per year and is traditionally released after 10 years of the harvest date. 175.000 bottles of Valbuena No.5 are produced and the wine is matured for 5 years before release. The rarest of Vega Sicilia wines Unico Reserva Especial is launched as a blend of 3 vintages and only 15.000 bottles are produced every year. This is a complex, mature and sophisticated wine.
Alion was created in 1991, and although it currently has its own winery, it’s still supervised by the senior winemaking team of Vega Sicilia. Alion was a replacement for Valbuena No.3 that was aged for 3 years before being released. It’s juicy and fruit forward version of Vega Sicilia, made from vineyards in La Horra, Gumiel de Mercado and some parcels of Vega Sicilia vineyards.
Pintia is one of the latest wineries purchased by Vega Sicilia, located in Toro with vineyards in San Roman de Hornija. These are robust, potent and muscular wines aged for 15 months in French and American oak.
Unico Reserva Especial