Finca Sandoval owner and journalist Victor de la Serna and Carlos Falcó Fernandez de Córdova, Marquis de Griñon, presented a selection of two white and six red single estate wines last month at Absinthe in San Francisco that was well-attended by Bay area wine trade and media.
Grandes Pagos de Espana, or GPE, was formed in 2000 when a group of small-production single-estate producers from Old and New Castile gathered together to promote high-quality wines from individual producers rather than vast quantities of industrial blended wines, which Spain does very well. They founded “Great Growths of Castile” or “Grandes Pagos de Castillo”, which became “Grandes Pagos de Espana” in 2003 to include all seventeen of Spain’s wine regions. GPE currently has 30 members.
At the same time, the Federal government introduced the DO Pago, or Vino de Pago, setting it atop DOCa, then Spain’s highest quality wine appellation. Spain has only two DOCa’s, Rioja and Priorat. Ribera del Duero, home of Spain’s most famous wine, Vega Sicilia, was aggressively courted by the government to take DOCa status rather than the more typical process of producers petitioning for the status, but turned them down with the argument that their wine region and wines were already well-established and the new moniker would do nothing for them.
Both GPE and DO Pagos require the wines to come from estates perceived to be Spain’s best. DO Pagos wines may come from outside an established DO or DOCa, while GPE has no such requirements as it is a private group.
Perhaps feeling like a jilted lover after being turned down by Ribera del Duero....
To read the complete article, go to: http://winereview.planetgrape.com/spains-private-vintners-club-grandes-pagos-de-espana/
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