BODEGAS VEGA SICILIA
Ribera del Duero’s aristocratic Vega Sicilia winery has a long history dating back to 1864, and the exceptional Vega Sicilia Unico is Spain’s most famous wine. Since 1982 the winery has been owned by the Álvarez family, members of the Primum Familiae Vini, a global (and very restricted) association of some of the world’s top winemaking families.
Around 40% of Vega Sicilia’s vineyards are planted in traditional Bordeaux varieties introduced by the winery’s founder, Elroy Lecanda y Chaves, back in the 1800s. Their favoured variety, though, is Tempranillo, which winemaker Javier Ausdas deems to be ‘the best in the world’. With some of the vines over 100 years old, here it is all about patience, aging in barrel and bottle for as long as it takes to achieve the family’s exalted goals.
If the vintage doesn’t stack up, the flagship Vega Sicilia Unico will simply not be made. There is a 5000-person waiting list to become eligible for an annual allotment, and really, you’d be leaving these wines for decades to realize their true potential, before popping the cork.