Vega Sicilia

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Vega Sicilia, concentrated and long-lived red wine that is Spain’s undisputed equivalent of a first growth, made on a single property now incorporated into the ribera del duero denomination. The wine was being made long before the present do region took shape in the 1980s. This 1,000-ha/2,500-acre farm either side of the main road east of Valladolid has been making wine in its present form since 1864 when Eloy Lacanda y Chaves planted vines from Bordeaux alongside Tinto Fino, also known as Tinta del País (a local strain of tempranillo). The current style was defined around 1910, when the winery was leased by Cosme Palacio, a Rioja grower. A succession of different owners has since managed to maintain the quality and reputation of Vega Sicilia as Spain’s finest red wine. However, Vega Sicilia fell on lean times at several junctures, and was able to make a substantial leap in quality and, more importantly, in consistency after being bought by the Alvarez family in 1982.