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Bodegas San Valero was established by 66 founding partners in 1944—only 12 years after Spain adopted its Denominación de Origen quality system and created the Cariñena appellation, under which Bodegas San Valero’s wines are designated. Having been at the vanguard of winemaking in the region for decades, the group has a rich history and a solid reputation for innovation. It was the first winery in Aragón—and the second in Spain—to build a bottling plant, in 1962, marking the transition from bulk to quality wines.
Twenty years later, the wine group introduced a grape-monitoring system in the vineyards that established parameters for quality control during harvest. A dedicated team of agronomists continues to inspect the vineyards to guarantee that their high standards are met. Bodegas San Valero was early to commercialize its wines on a global scale and has been exporting its products for more than 25 years; its wines are now available in 30 countries. Bodegas San Valero is also the oldest single winery in the region that’s maintained a constant focus on the Garnacha grape, the flagship variety of Aragón.
Between the Rivers Huerva and Jalón, more than 3,500 hectares of vineyards are cultivated by Bodegas San Valero and its partners. The region is situated on a high plateau with significant diurnal temperature shifts and vineyards planted at 800 meters. Such altitude, combined with the cierzo winds, contributes a fresh minerality to the wines cultivated here, and the largely stony soils give them structure and deeper expression. Bodegas San Valero has excelled in understanding Cariñena’s different soils and microclimates, which enables the group to produce a wide range of still and sparkling styles from both indigenous and international grape varieties.
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Seventy percent of Bodegas San Valero’s plantings focus on indigenous grape varieties, with 25 percent of that dedicated to Garnacha. Some of Cariñena’s oldest vines—up to 100 years old—are found here. Along with improvements in the cultivation and vinification of Garnacha, there’s a new appreciation for the rich, concentrated wines these low-yielding vines produce. Few other producers in Cariñena offer the history, complexity, and mineral-driven expressions that these wines do at such approachable price points—from $7.99 to $25 (SRP).
Bodegas San Valero also leads the Cariñena appellation in its approach to sustainability: The wine group uses pheromone devices (that induce sexual confusion) to minimize, if not eliminate, the need for chemical pest control. In addition, its Almoecowine project converted 330 hectares of vineyard to organic viticulture, making it the largest such vineyard area in Aragón. The winery is currently undergoing organic certification.
Today, Bodegas San Valero continues its exploration of the best expressions of Aragón with new wineries in its group devoted to the production of premium Cavas and still wines; its newest winery, Cueva de Algairén, is focused on organic wines. Though still red wines dominate its production, Bodegas San Valero has leveraged the area’s cooler climate zones to produce a Blanc de Noir Cava from Garnacha, and whites blended from Chardonnay and the native Macabeo for Particular, a line of limited-production wines that express the marriage of tradition and modernity. Bodegas San Valero is the only winery in the Cariñena DOP, or protected denomination of origin, authorized to produce Cava DO wines. And in keeping with the global demand for rosé wines, Bodegas San Valero produces a 100 percent Garnacha rosado for both its Particular and Origium lines.
The Particular line was inspired by the traditional winemakers of Aragón who selected only the best plots to make wine for their own consumption. Produced in optimal years, these wines are an expression of the best authentic terroirs, and include two old-vine expressions. Origium—a tribute to the original wine group’s 1944 origin—consists of four high-quality, value-priced authentic wines of Aragón. Additionally, Sierra de Viento, 500 Manos, and Celebrities are among the brands featured in the Bodegas San Valero portfolio.