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Bodegas y Vinedos AALTO

 logo-aalto-sml.jpgOur Wines: Please click here to view wines

AALTO is a wine project founded by Mariano García and Javier Zaccagnini in the prestigious Ribera del Duero Spanish wine region.

The aim of the project is to obtain the highest possible quality from the terroir of Ribera del Duero and develop a great wine that, after 15 to 20 years of serious work, based on the expertise of Mariano and the management of Javier, would be comparable in quality to the great wines of the world. 

The project was born in February 1999 with the financial support of several Spanish wine enthusiasts and investors.

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Recognition:

In the short history of the winery they have already established a national and international reputation of quality and prestige. They were selected as one of the Best 100 wineries ofthe world in the book published by French wine critics Michel Betanne and Thierry Dessauve. The scores of their wines by Robert Parker are always high, and their wines range from 94 to 98 points at the Wine Advocate.

The Vineyards:

AALTO own 32 hectares of prime vineyard land in three different sub-regions of Ribera del Duero, two in the province of Valladolid and one in the province of Burgos.

These estates have been carefully planted with old clones of Tinto Fino (the great Spanish variety Tempranillo adapted to the Ribera del Duero climate) under the strict supervision of Mariano García.

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Grape Supply:

Along with the yield from their own estates of old vines, they also use very fine grapes coming from 90 hectares of very old vines (ranging from 45 to 100 years old). These vineyards, 100% Tinto Fino (Tempranillo) are located in seven different sub-regions of the Ribera del Duero, and AALTO have reached long term agreements with their owners, so they are cultivated throughout the year to AALTO standards and under their strict supervision.

Winemaking:

Up to the 2004 vintage they made their wines at rented premises in Roa (Burgos) while the new bodega was being built in their 15 hectare estate in Quintanilla de Arriba (Valladolid). These new premises have been built to their own specific design, partly underground. This will enable them to continue improving the quality of their wines. Their fermentation tanks have been custom-made for them following their original truncated cone shape design.

The grapes are picked by hand in small plastic boxes and brought immediately to the winery. There they use two grape-selection conveyor belts where the grapes are thoroughly inspected before they enter the de-stemmer.

As early as December the wine goes into French oak and is kept there with weekly control and refilling. Part of the wine goes through malolactic fermentation in new American oak, with daily battonage, and is put into the French oak afterwards.

They keep the harvest from each individual vineyard separate throughout the vinification and subsequent ageing period in oak. Mariano García decides the final assemblage of wines when he considers the wine has reached its optimum moment for bottling. They do not filter their wines.

The Wines:

They offer two different wines:

AALTO: is the result of their extremely careful selection of grapes and expert wine making. It is a wine of high quality and will be offered every year, except in those when they decide that the climate has not allowed for a perfect ripening of the grapes. This could happen one year out of ten. 

AALTO PS (Pagos Seleccionados): their top wine, made only in years when the quality of the harvest allows for the highest standards. This wine is a special and careful selection of the grapes that have reached an exceptional ripening, coming from the very best small areas (called Pagos) of their vineyards. They expect to be able to offer this wine 6 or 7 vintages each decade.

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People:

Mariano García has 30 years experience of top winemaking and viticulture. He was responsible for the vineyards and wines of Vega Sicilia from 1968 to 1998, when he joined Javier Zaccagnini to develop the AALTO project.

Mariano García is considered one of the leading world wine experts and is highly regarded in the many countries where he has been presenting his wines or lecturing.

Javier Zaccagnini has an MBA and 26 years of business management experience, 16 of them in the wine business.

From 1992 to 1998 he was the head of the Consejo Regulador de la Denominación de Origen Ribera del Duero. This hands-on experience, and direct contact with all the different aspects and people of this wine region, has turned him into a connoisseur and absolute devotee of Ribera del Duero. 

José Carlos García Vega; second oenologist and winery manager. He has a degree in Chemistry and 10 years experience in winemaking. José Carlos joined Aalto in June 1999.

Antonio Moral; vineyard manager, holds a diploma Agricultural Engineering and Oenology, was born in the Ribera del Duero and despite his youth has a broad experience in viticulture and winemaking. Antonio joined the Aalto project in October 1999.

Website:

www.aalto.es