Bodega Marqués de Vargas
Our history goes back to 1840, when Don Felipe de la Mata, VIII Marqués de Vargas, decided to plant the first vineyards at the Hacienda Pradolagar estate. The family legacy continued with his sons, Pelayo and his brother Francisco, IX Marqués de Vargas, a celebrated figure in Logroño who became mayor of the city at the end of the 19th century. Both brothers kept alive the same passion for the vines at Pradolagar.
However, it was the next generation that fully established the family name. Don Hilario de la Mata, father of the current Marqués, was a passionate wine lover like his predecessors. President of a major group of vineyard owners and co-owner of another wine company, he always dreamed of a winery under the family name. Unfortunately, he died young and his dream never became reality.
In 1989, Pelayo de la Mata, XIII Marqués de Vargas and Conde de San Cristóbal, together with his brothers, was finally able to fulfil his father’s dreams and build the winery at the family estate, in the heart of the Rioja Alta region.
A unique location
Marqués de Vargas started out with a philosophy inspired by the French Châteaux, exclusively producing Reserva and Gran Reserva premium fine wines using grapes from its own vineyards next to the winery. Limited production each year, with a regional character and the singularity and identity of its unique terroir.
The vineyard is “the Palace Garden”. We treat our vines with loving care all year round, just like the finest ornamental gardens, using only sustainable viticulture methods, with no herbicides or pesticides, carefully pruning and discarding grapes to ensure the quality of the harvest.
The Hacienda Pradolagar estate has 52 hectares of vineyards, split into 32 plots, according to soil type, climate and grape varieties. This division was the result of an in-depth mapping study undertaken by an expert team with a vision very close to the ground: Ana Barrón, the Marqués de Vargas head winemaker, Xavier Ausás, consultant winemaker, and David Pernet, the prestigious vineyard cartographer and founder of the Bordeaux- based SOVIVINS company.
Winemaking and ageing
Harvesting is carried out by hand, plot by plot, with initial selection made at the vineyard. We vinify each plot separately for better quality control of our wines. We pick the grapes in 12-kilogram boxes that go into the refrigeration chambers minutes after picking, where they remain until the next day. This overnight cooling in bunches has been shown to have a beneficial effect on the final quality of the wine.
The winery is designed to serve the vineyard. The layout of the tanks in the winemaking hall is a technical mirror to the division by plot of the vines. The wines age under perfect conditions in selected French oak barrels from the finest cooperages. These are used to produce the premium reserve Marqués de Vargas wines, which have received the prestigious “Viñedo Singular” designation from the Rioja Regulating Council (D.O.Ca) and the Ministry of Agriculture thanks to the exceptional characteristics of the vineyards, the quality of the winemaking process and respect for traditional methods.
The wines are aged using French oak barrels in different styles and from various coopers, depending on the desired profile for the final blend.