“It could be argued that Spain is a viticultural miracle. After years on the sidelines of the world of fine wine, it is now a major player. Investment and ambition in vineyard and winery are resulting in more and more rich — often highly alcoholic — spicy reds that are finding increasing favour among international consumers weaned on ripe New World wines.”
— Jancis Robinson MW
Vega Sicilia: Vega Sicilia, Spain's "first growth" and most prestigious wine estate, is located in Ribera del Duero, beside a highway east of Valladolid. The estate covers around 1,000 hectares, of which 230-250 are under vines. It was founded in 1864 by Don Eloy Lecanda y Chaves, who arrived from Bordeaux with cuttings of local grapes (Cab. Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec) and planted them, together with Spain's signature grape Tinto Fino (clone of Tempranillo) in the arid Ribera soils.