vineyard of Grandes Pago

I recently attended a virtual workshop that introduced me to the association consisting of thirty-six single estate vineyards that are recognized as the “Grands Crus of Spain.” The members of the Crus require a minimum of five years track record of quality in the vineyard and glass, as well as pass an annual blind tasting evaluation.

The Grandes Pagos de España was founded in 2000 and is a non-profit association in which the members have passed rigorous criteria from vineyard to bottle; it is the “ultimate terroir designation” in Spain. As an association, the members aim to “defend the unique, terroir-driven personality of single-estate
wines, to uphold and promote the ethos of Spanish winemaking, and to produce wines of excellence in
harmony with the soil, nature and climate of each vineyard.”

rocks in a vineyard
image: ©Grandes Pagos de Espana

The vineyards included in the consortium represent only .23% of total hectares under vine in Spain. Sixty grape varieties are approved (28 red and 32 white.) Fifteen of the wineries are certified using ecological viticulture and three are biodynamically certified. 

The alliance currently is preparing to launch an educational program that focuses on terroir. At this time, the program is still being tweaked in order to provide the best overall experience, but it will include both classroom study and tastings. Currently the classes are slated for Miami, Los Angeles and Mexico beginning in August 2023, with additional locations to be announced in the future. The program has acquired the expertise of Alessandra Esteves, Founder of Florida Wine Academy in Miami; Monica Marin DipWSET in Los Angeles; and Sandra Fernández Gaytán, of SFG Estrategias in Mexico.

The program will cover eight regions of Spain (Green Spain, Meseta North, Ebro River Valley, Catalonia, Mediterranean, Meseta Central, South and the Islands) and will take a deep dive into the history, culture, geography, climate and people on terroir. It will detail the differences between the Vino de Pago system which is based on soil composition and the Grandes de Pagos (GPE) in which the wineries have the ability to bottle under any designation since it is based on the track record of quality, not a specific location.

vineyard of Grandes Pago
image © Grandes Pagos D Espana

For more information about upcoming classes, and to be notified of new course locations,
please contact [email protected].
To learn more about Grandes Pagos de España and The Terroir Workshop click here, or contact Emily
Hardin-Lombardi ([email protected]) or Claire Martin ([email protected]). 


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