Bodega Palacios Remondo, Alvaro Palacios
He was born 'at home', right above his father's bodega. The scent of wine and barrels must have been lying in the air and thus dictated his further life. He studied oenology in Bordeaux and gathered professional experience at the Château Pétrus, and in London, Dublin, and California. Today, he owns vines in the Priorat county, in Bierzo, and at home in the Rioja, and proves his extraordinary talent with premium wines year after year.
He loves his family, motorcycles, nature, songs by Camarón, a challenge and taking risks. He seems believable when he confesses that his second calling would have been to be a 'torero', a bullfighter. He bristles with dynamism and power.
He went to Bordeaux to study oenology when he was 21 years old. The next stage saw him working at the Château Pétrus for two years. Then he returned home. His father José Palacios Remondo had built a bodega in close to Alfaro in 1948 following a family tradition dating back to 1651. However, Álvaro felt constricted upon his return. In 1989, he was pulled towards the abandoned Priorat, where his first resounding success would take place shortly. He was restless to hurry to the next challenge in Bierzo, where he prompted the next furore. His international reputation as a star winegrower had already been established when his father died in 2000. This marked the right moment to return home – his birthplace.
White wines from Bodega Palacios Remondo, Alvaro Palacios
Red wines from Bodega Palacios Remondo, Alvaro Palacios
The parental estate encompassing about 150 hectares in total is situated in the Rioja Baja, to the west of Alfaro. Álvaro mainly builds on Garnacha instead of Tempranillo, as it reaches its full potential on the rocky, ferrous quartziferous lime soil. The winters are very cold and the summers can get extremely hot. Here, the precipitation is just about half that of the Rioja Alta. About 110 hectares comprise the site of La Montesa hillside of the Monte Yerga. The Tempranillo prospers on the higher and cooler slopes, while the Garnacha feels at home at lower altitudes. Near the La Montesa site one can find the Viura vine stocks used for the Plácet circling a little magazine. The parcel is called Valtomelloso. With its 40- to 70-year-old vine stocks, the site Propiedad comprises about 10 hectares divided into 5 parcels situated about 600 meters above sea level. They are stocked exclusively with Garnacha. In 2014, an entirely a new vineyard consisting of Garnacha, Viura and Monsatrell mixed was planted as it used to in the past. The idea: A Rioja wine with the quality of a Grand cru! We can be excited for its first vintage.
At home, Álvaro has also been crowned by success, having received numerous awards and consistently high ratings. His talent, his intuition and his untiring inventiveness have enabled him to elevate his parental estate to the top of international wines.
For many years Baur au Lac Wines has been Switzerland's exclusive importer of the sumptuous Cognacs created by Dominic Park. The story goes back to the 1990s when Dominic Park decided to leave his job as a wine trader in London to create his own cognac house with the style he wanted. This is summed up by a very clean vision of what cognac should be: insist on the best origins and a very precise distillation and ageing to give a high-class product in a modern, elegant bottle.
Tenuta dei Sette Cieli
It isn’t easy to ascend to seventh heaven. And indeed, the road to the Tenuta Sette Cieli is fraught with some difficulties. You might need to take a few detours (seventh heaven isn’t on Google Maps’ radar), but the Ratti family’s wine paradise is more than worth the effort.