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Álvaro Palacios

The Bodegas Álvaro Palacios winery is located in the municipality of Gratallops in the Spanish DOCa area of Priorato (Catalonia). It was founded in 1989 by Álvaro Palacios, a descendant of a long-established family from Rioja who had been growing wine here since the mid-19th century. After studying oenology in Bordeaux, Palacios worked at Château Pétrus in Bordeaux and Stag's Leap Wine Cellars in the Napa Valley, and then traded in barrique barrels. Then he decided to produce a world class wine. As a "young, wild winemaker", Palacios, together with René Barbier from the Clos Mogador winery and under the guidance of Professor José Luis Pérez, who holds a doctorate in biology, shaped the success of the new sector from the early 1990s. The company's own vineyards cover 35 hectares, which are cultivated according to ecological and biodynamic principles

Álvaro Palacios became famous with his wine "L'Ermita", named after a five hectare vineyard, which is made from vines that are 90 years old on average, with a maximum yield of ten hectolitres per hectare. It is blended from Garnatxa = Garnacha Tinta (80%), Cabernet Sauvignon (15%) and Carineña (5%) and matures for 20 months in new French 500 litre oak barrels. It is also bottled in large-sized bottles such as Magnum (1.5 litres), but also Jeroboam (4.5 litres = 6 x 0.75 l). The wine is, together with Dominio de Pingus, one of the most expensive red wines in Spain. Outstanding vintages are 1990, 1991, 1994, 1995, 1996 and 1997. The second wine is also called "Finca Dofí" after a single vineyard. It is blended from Garnatxa and Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as some Carineña, Merlot and Syrah. A third wine from bought Garnatxa, Carineña and Cabernet Sauvignon is called "Les Terrasses".

After the death of his father in 2000, Álvaro Palacios took over the family winery Palacios Remondo in Alfaro in the Rioja area. Two years earlier, he had already founded the winery Descendientes de José Palacios in the Bierzo area of Castilla y León together with Ricardo Perez. In 2015 he was awarded the title "Man of the Year" by Decanter Magazine. His brother Rafael Palacios runs the winery of the same name in the Valdeorras area of Galicia.

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