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  • 912

    The River Duero basin was resettled. Some settlers built a church in honour of St. Cecilia opposite the town of Valbuena de Duero within the Alfoz de Peñafiel rural territory.

  • 1477

    Peñafiel and the Valbuena Monastery fought over the estate, along with its village, for over three years. It was in 1477 when the monks and the council would reach an agreement. The latter would have the jurisdiction and the arable land (sowing cereals) and the monks would have the forest cover (timber, hunting and grazing)

  • 1577

    The name Vega de Sicilia appeared for the first time in 1577 to refer to the estate.

  • 1864

    After Toribio Lecanda bought the estate from the Marquis of Valbuena in 1848, his son, Eloy Lecanda, started to professionally make wine at the winery.

  • 1882

    The production facilities were completed and today they are offices and ageing warehouses. Eloy Lecanda received numerous awards for the wines produced at Vega Sicilia.

  • 1888

    The estate did not thrive due to Eloy's lack of ability as a trader and manager and it was sold to Pascual Herrero Bux, who would own it for less than 10 years.

  • 1897

    The property was bought at auction by Antonio Herrero Vázquez, who was not a relative of the previous owner. Just a few years later, three of his eight children (Luis, Félix and Ignacio) would inherit it and it would later be passed to Félix's children. The estate, winery and wines prospered greatly during these three generations.

  • 1907

    Cosme Palacio, from La Rioja and who was the tenant of the estate and winery with the Herreros, brought Txomin Garramiola to be in charge of the wine production. Those wines would offset the damage caused by the phylloxera in La Rioja.

  • 1950

    Prodes, the seed company, bought the estate from the Herrero family. The company Bodegas Vega Sicilia S.A. was set up at this time and another of the most important figures in the history of the winery, Jesús Anadón, would emerge.

  • 1965

    The estate was sold to Hans Neuman, a Venezuelan from a Czech-Jewish family and living in Venezuela, who decided to buy the winery after he had tasted the wines in New York.

  • 1982

    The Álvarez family bought the winery from the Neumanns and this marked the start of one of the most prosperous periods in the history of the company.

  • 2014

    Coinciding with the 150th anniversary, the most important modernisation of the vineyard and winery were completed.

 The dream come true

Autumn was the time of the grape harvest and this land could, finally, begin to dream; the grapes proved to be noted for their unrivalled quality and personality. And after being left to mature in the silence and solitude of the winery, they had become one of the greatest legends of the history of wine. Vega Sicilia was finally born.

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THE DREAM COME TRUE


The driveway to Vega Sicilia is flanked by its splendid Japanese garden, where the visitor is welcomed by the wealth of bamboo, sequoias or maples. The elegant main façade in facing brick, with the main feature being the entrance of what was the chapel of the group of buildings that made up the estate, is on the other side of the drive.

 

As you come out of the back of the building, you enter the entrails of the winery, a series of buildings that house the different production zones.

 

You first come to the winemaking facility, with its stainless steel tanks, in perfect rows, where the Valbuena 5º (which is aged for 5 years) is produced. The second floor is home to the laboratory and control room, where computer calculations are used to control all the processes involved in making the wines.

 

In the same building, but separated by huge sliding doors, there is a type of semi-circular frontispiece with 19 oak tanks where the wines that will have Único - made only in exceptional years and aged for a minimum of 10 years - are fermented.

 

As you leave the winemaking facility, you come to the cooperage building, where under the supervision of the master cooper, and using state-of-the-art machinery, the American oak barrels are made that Vega Sicilia uses to age its wines. There is a series of warehouses adjoining the cooperage building and where the ancillary items - plant health products, packaging, auxiliary machinery, etc - are stored. This all creates a uniform architectural complex where the main emphasis is on tidiness and cleanliness.

 

You then come to the bottling facility, a climate-controlled building with the ideal humidity and temperature for the wine to be in the bottle. The wines are left to rest here after they have been aged in barrels until they are released on the market.

 

Finally, the ageing rooms are on the ground floor of the main building. Over 3,000 barrels are left to peacefully rest inside warehouses designed to ensure calm and perfect harmony: floors made out of red clay mosaic that spreads up the side walls of the building until it merges with a corrugated ceiling made out of wood slats, perfectly fitted together, which recall the inside of a huge barrel; the climate control elements, along with the auxiliary tanks used for decanting, are hidden behind sliding doors similar to the roofs located at the roof beds of the warehouses, with the same barrel-like appearance; the lighting ranges from a warm golden ambient tone to the intense cold light projected from the foot of the granite columns holding up the roof beams, which is needed to carry out the warehouse tasks.

 

These buildings are surrounded by vineyards and, at the end of the estate, where it borders on the River Duero, by plantations of oaks, cork and walnut trees that in future will provide the raw material for the corks and barrels that the coming generations will produce.

 

Discretely set apart, the neoclassical mansion stands in the middle of the gardens that are overlooked by the main façade of the winery. It was the former residence of the owners of the estate and is now used to welcome VIPs, host lunches and other formal occasions.