Episode 333 of I’ll Drink to That! was released recently. It features Vicente Dalmau Cebrián-Sagarriga, the owner of Bodegas Marqués de Murrieta in Rioja and Pazo de Barrantes in Galicia, Spain.
Dalmau Cebrián-Sagarriga’s father purchased one of the most historical bodegas in Rioja and one of the key wineries in the history of Spain when he bought Marqués de Murrieta. This is the winery where a lot of what we think of as Rioja was created. It is also the winery that Dalmau would find himself running while still in his 20s, after his father died unexpectedly. Clearly, Dalmau was not afraid to make significant moves in the intervening years. This interview puts on display one strongly held conviction after another, from an emphasis on rebuilding the winery, to a shift in the lineup of wines offered, to a focus on specific lesser known grape varieties. Dalmau brought sweeping change to Murrieta, hiring a young team to carry out a series of plans intended to move the winery practice on several fronts, backing up those decisions with significant investment (to the tune of $30 million dollars, he states in this interview). This interview is a powerful reminder of the scale of Rioja, as this winery alone controls 800 acres of a region that produces hundreds of millions of bottles in total. And it also reminds the listener of the timeline on which Rioja can operate. This is a winery that does not hesitate to offer 30 year old white wines to the market, as it will do again shortly. If you are curious to hear about the connecting thread of Rioja’s history to the decision making in the region today, this is a good interview to seek out.
Listen to the stream above, or check it out in iTunes.
I’ll Drink to That is the world’s most listened-to wine podcast, hosted by Levi Dalton. Levi has had a long career working as a sommelier in some of the most distinguished and acclaimed dining rooms in America. He has served wine to guests of Restaurant Daniel, Masa, and Alto, all in Manhattan. Levi has also contributed articles on wine themes to publications such as The Art of Eating, Wine & Spirits magazine, Bon Appetit online, and Eater NY. Check out his pictures on Instagram and follow him on Twitter: @levi_opens_wine