Pago de los Capellanes

Located in the centre of the Ribera del Duero in northern Spain, Pago de los Capellanes is a relatively new winery that has already made a name for itself as the modern face of the region.

They make wines here that reflect the area’s traditions, while also moving forward into new territory.

Pago de los Capellanes was founded in 1996 in the village of Pedrosa de Duero by the Rodero-Villa family. It was the family’s first foray into the wine world and, in the past 12 years, they have already made great strides, as Wine & Spirits magazine named them one of the top 100 wineries in the world.

The name of the winery means “land of the chaplains”, which is a reference to the fact that the land used to be owned by chaplains, until it was donated to the city council in 1855.

Paco Casas has been the winemaker at Pago de los Capellanes since its founding in the late 1990s. He believes wholeheartedly in the use of innovation, new techniques, and new ideas in order to continue increasing the standards and quality of the wines he crafts. Utilising these new technologies and ideas helps to set Pago de los Capellanes apart from the other, more traditional wineries in the region and ensures that the winery keeps its name at the forefront of peoples’ minds when they think of Spanish wine, and Ribera in particular.

The grapes grown at Pago de los Capellanes are 100% Tempranillo, which have a thicker skin that helps to protect them from the harsh conditions.

The estate has a total area of 70 hectares, made up of 35 different plots.

At Pago de los Capellanes, they farm the land in the traditional way, tending to each plot individually, changing the methods in use depending on its very specific needs. In this way, they are able to keep their plots diverse, while giving them everything they need to thrive, producing the best fruit possible.

The terroir on the property is made of clay, gravel and sand, which provides excellent drainage for the vines, as well as creating natural reserves of moisture and temperature. All of these factors in combination help the Tempranillo grapes to grow to their full potential, producing velvety, high quality wines.

Growing conditions in Spain generally are extreme and it’s not any different at Pago de los Capellanes. Typically, there is a 20 degrees difference between daytime temperatures and nighttime temperatures and, while that might make it sound like there’s no chance that something could grow there, these conditions are actually ideal for wine grapes. The high heat during the day and cooler nights helps the grapes to ripen fully, boosts their alcohol content and increases the colour and tannins. These aspects can have profound and favourable effects on the final produce.

Once the fruit has been harvested, the grapes undergo a second manual selection process. The stalks are removed and the grapes enter the tanks whole. Once there, fermentation takes place using native yeasts, before being moved to French oak casks. The family uses 22 different types of French oak, dependant on the type of wine being produced. The wine is then aged for a period of one to three years, depending on the type of wine being produced, in a cellar 10 meters below ground. This helps to keep the temperature cool and constant.

The wines are then bottled without being fined or filtered, before aging in the bottle. The whole process takes place on the property, which keeps everything localised and gives the wines a sense of place.

Pago de los Capellanes produces five different wines, all with different aging techniques. This makes it difficult to generalise about the characteristics of their wines, but it can be said that each wine is full of freshness, has a well-balanced acidity and refined tannins, and refined complexity with mature fruit notes.

For you, we have chosen the 2014 Pago de los Capellanes Tinto Reserva.