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Alvaro Palacios

07 Jul 2017
Alvaro Palacios

Alvaro Palacios is one of Spain’s absolutely best winemakers and the producer of one of the most famous wines in Europe, the legendary L’Ermita wine, a wine that is now one of the most prized possession of Spain. With bodegas in Rioja, Priorat and Bierzo, Palacios is one of the defining personalities in Spanish wine today. In just 20 years, he has established a formidable reputation as a dynamic pioneer, generating global praise for his wines – in particular, those from the forgotten regions of Spain he has been so active in promoting.

Palacios comes from a family of wine growers in Rioja, the famous Spanish wine district in the north of Spain. But early he went to Priorat and began to make wine here, and it is here that he has reached fame. As a young aprentice he spent time in Bordeaux at the famous Pomerol wine estate Château Petrus, and in his best wines the heritage from the Bordeaux district can be noted in the strong, toasted taste.
 
Decanter Man of the Year 2015
 
He has been credited with putting Spain on the fine wine map, transforming the fortunes of Priorat and Bierzo, and is now directing his focus on Rioja Baja, which is why Decanter has awarded Alvaro Palacios the Man of the Year title for 2015.

Now in its 31st year, the Decanter Man of the Year prize has been awarded to some of the wine world’s best-known figures, including Angelo Gaja, Robert Mondavi and the late Serge Hochar, who was the first to claim the award.

It is down to his extreme focus and quest for perfection that Palacios plays such a significant role in the Spanish wine scene, writes Pedro Ballesteros Torres MW in the April issue of Decanter magazine – where the prize was announced. ‘His pioneering nature helped to rescue both Priorat and Bierzo from oblivion,’ writes Ballesteros.