Let's start with the obvious: 1. Why is finding a definitive list of wineries in this classification so difficult considering this is supposed to be the "pinnacle" of Spainish wine quality pyramid? 2. How can this level of quality ever be taken seriously as the "grand crus" of Spanish wine....when my cell phone bill is more expensive than 90% of these wines in the marketplace.3. Whatever the number of classified wineries that are currently approved is at today (or in the pipeline of approval).....as this list grows how does its significance NOTt become obsolete? 4. Finally, does this look 1/2 way correct?
List of Vinos de Pago
Dominio de Valdepusa (Marques de Griñón)
Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Petit Verdot, Graciano
Finca Élez (Manuel Manzaneque)
DO Castilla-La Mancha
Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Tempranillo, Chadonnay
Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Chardonnay
Dehesa del Carrizal
Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Syrah, Tempranillo, Chardonnay
800 - 900
Pago de Arínzano
DO Navarra (Tierra Estella)
Tempranillo, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon
Prado de Irache
Pago de Señorio de Otazu
DO Navarra (Valdizarbe)
Cabernet Sauvigon, Merlot, Tempranillo, Chardonnay
Campo de la Guardia
Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Syrah, Malbec, Chardonnay
Casa del Blanco
Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec, Tempranillo, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc
Pago El Terrerazo, de Bodegas Mustiguillo
Bobal, Granacha, Syrah
800 - 824
Tempranillo, Garnacha, Cabernet Sauvignon, Garnacha Blanca, Syrah, Touriga Nacional
900 - 1000
Pago de Aylés
Grenache, Tempranillo, Cabernet-Sauvignon, Merlot
Pago de Los Balagueses
Syrah, Garnacha, Tintorera (Alicante Bouschet), Merlot, Chardonnay
Pago Vera de Estenas
Bobal, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo, Merlot, Chardonnay
Finca Bolandín's Bodega Pago de Cirsus
Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, Tempranillo.
El Pago de Vallegarcia
Retuerta del Bullaque (Ciudad Real)
Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Viognier
Pago de la Jaraba
El Provencio (Cuenca)
La Mancha DO
Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Graciano
Pago Los Cerrillos
Argamasilla de Alba (Ciudad Real)
Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah
Pago el Vicario
Tempranillo, Syrah, Garnacha Tinta, Cabernet Sauvignon, Graciano, Petit Verdot Merlot, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc
Pago Chozas Carrascal
San Antonio de Requena
Cabernet Franc, Granacha, Tempranillo, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc
700 - 750
Miquel Hudin will be here shortly to link to a story he wrote telling you that it's all bs.
Fact is, there is no pinacle anywhere. Grand Cru on a bottle of burgundy doesn't mean it's the best there is, and neither does having Vin de Pago status. There are a lot of decent wines, some really good wines, and some bad wines in this class. You're totally familiar with this concept already. Don't let this particular thing get to your head.
The guildsomm compendium is your best bet for up to date info as this (and others like it) changes. The team is always working hard for the best info, and if they miss anything there is a large enough community to point it out. Having this list, though, is as meaningless as having a complete and difinitive list as say Clos Vougeot producers. Some just don't matter. Cool chart, though. Totally going to comb through it for nuggets later.
Oh, thankfully it's a holiday in Spain so I can chime in!
Firstly, this list above needs to be eradicated. There are currently 19 official Vinos de Pago. And yes Jeremy, here's a link.
The Compendium lists two others which were in process as well as Vera de Estenas (which was just made official this year despite applying in 2013) and El Vicario. These are all official at this point and there is an actual list of all the DOs and IGTs in Spain that's updated at random intervals which you can view here and was actually just revised last month. Even if the Pliegos have yet to be revised, that list is gospel.
If you've pulled this list of 21 from the Decanter article that unfortunately has my name on it, disregard this. I sent them the actual list as defined by Spanish law back when I wrote that and they then edited it be incorrect for some reason that's beyond me and despite sending them repeated emails, they haven't fixed the problem. I suppose because it was a "sponsored post" and hey, who cares once the check has cleared, right?
Why is it so hard to find an exact list? There are many reasons why and it's due to how fragmented things are in Spain and how stuff like this needs to go up and then back down a series of desks that now has Brussels at the top. That and officially there's this antiquated, "State Bulletin" in Spain (as well as in other EU countries) where these things need to be published before they're actual law and this isn't revised everyday and there's a back log.
It puts me in an odd position as I have to defend Spain in some regard given that even with speaking (basic) French, I have a hard time weeding through French wine laws and as far as I know, there is no nice, long list of IGPs and IGTs there like there is in Spain.
As to the value of Vino de Pago, that's been questioned for a long time which is why DOs like Priorat, Bierzo, and Rioja have all established their own vineyard classifications and also why Catalunya has a separate Vi de Finca which works just like Vino de Pago but actually has some solid wines in.
Anyways, hope that helps!
As an NYU philosophy major, I appreciate the sentiment that "Grand Cru" does not make the wine. I truly would agree....but you are sugar coating it a little, to be honest. While there are great village wines in Burgundy....you'd probably opt for a Clos Vougeot with dinner 95% of the time over the latter. I've been a Somm since 2006. I remember this classification in its infancy. Nearly, 14 years later (since I became a Somm)....there should be more clarity and sense of why this classification was created. Grand Cru in France has historical meaning (Cistercian Monks) as well as gives birth to some of the best Pinot and Chardonnay in Burgundy. But I take your point.
I did use your article from Decanter. I've also read your comments on the web. I was aware of the bureaucracies involved that handicapped the dissemination of information in a timely manner (thanks to your previous post). Trust me I'm not some Trumpian American looking to criticize Spain. I love Spain. I've been many times to your country. I just don't get why 14 years later I revisit something....and it's like "pulling teeth" to understand what the aim was in this created tier in the Spanish wine law? I've seen (and agree) with your criticism of the Grandes Pago de Espana...but at least they have a website that helps you understand who they and some sort of mission statement to what they hope to promote. I would think to make Vinos de Pago's - "DO's" would make more sense to me at how they view themselves as something unique....or folding them into existing DO's to "raise the profile" of the existing wineries within that DO. Still.....I think Wines of Spain or ICEX....should have a PDF that is easy to find in a web search when looking for an updated list of VP.
And until they get their act together they'll continue to confuse the wine professionals they depend on to promote them. I think you're just going to chase your tail trying to figure out the "why" behind it all. It's their own loss in the mean time.
Vincent well said. So, far I've learned that a pyramid of quality is not really a pyramid of quality. That one of the more respected magazines in the wine world (Decanter) - doesn't care to get it "right". What's more closely aligned to a "chateaux classification" has been misrepresnted as a Grand Cru classification like you would see in Burgundy rather than the right bank Saint-Emilion Grand Cru applellation of Bordeaux. Or, is it more like the right bank Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Classification of Bordeaux because some of the wines are unremarkable? Hmm? And, as always....anything that happens in Brussels - sucks.
I'm not Spanish btw. I'm 100% Californian.
Ah. You just clicked a light bulb for me. If this were another new world thing, we'd just glaze over it because the time that it takes to make sense and give clarity to a hierarchy system in wine takes decades. How long before the monks actually made sense of Burgundy? (And even that is flawed today) This doesn't matter because it's in it's infancy. The next generations* may see the v d Pago system as meaningful, but today, we're all sort of figuring it out.
*Provided they aren't burned by global climate change, which is more likely than a meaningful Pago list happening.
Don't worry global climate change won't do anything meaningful in any wine region that you and I are concerned about.. ...So, >>we're all sort of figuring it out"<< Interesting take. The Spanish authorities didn't have a plan? They were just going to wing it and hope for the best? Better yet. Perhaps the Spanish governing body decided they would create this top tier to their wine quality pyramid and in true modern-day fashion would let the masses provide the feedback loop for what this classification will represent. Kind of like an Amazon review model. Or a CellarTracker aggregate score for a wine. And, the concensus is???
Kindly, if there is only 19. Which 2 wineries do I drop?
As far as I know, "Pago Chozas Carrascal" and "Pago de Cirsus" are not certified. They might be pending or they might have received it since the last official IGP and IGT list for Spain was published on November 11 but currently, they're not Vino de Pago.
According to John Radford Oct 12th, 2012 (God rest his soul) Bodegas Chozas Carrascal gets Vino de Pago status
Pago de Cirus list themselves as a winery of Vino de Pago http://www.pagodecirsus.com/en/winery-cellar
Last year Miguel had it included on his list...not sure if that was one of the corrections he tried to get decanter to make in post. www.decanter.com/.../
"Pago de Cirus list themselves as a winery of Vino de Pago"
Good for them. Spanish wineries are notorious with this because if they get approved, they can list it on any vintage back to when they applied so they start selling it early. It's as disingenuous as someone stating "Master Sommelier" or "Master of Wine" just because they're working towards it.
List these two if you want and I'm fully open to being wrong on both these counts with Chozas Carrascal and Cirsus but ultimately give a rat's ass since the whole thing has no teeth. But what's a fact is that they're not on the official list from Spain of all the IGPs and IGTs so in my book, they're not official. There are many stages where it can get gummed up despite it being "approved" at some point.
For instance, this is the listing for València as of 11-11-2019:
Alicante DOPDO-ES-A1526El Terrerazo VPPDO-ES-A0940Los Balagueses VPPDO-ES-A0941Utiel-Requena DOPDO-ES-A0874Valencia DOPDO-ES-A0872Vera de Estenas VPPDO-ES-N1665
And this is the listing for Navarra:
Navarra DOPDO-ES-A0127Pago de Arínzano VPPDO-ES-A0183Pago de Otazu VPPDO-ES-A0184Prado de Irache VPPDO-ES-A0182
IGP (1)3 Riberas VTPGI-ES-A0128
It seems that Chozas Carrascal has been sitting in “Never Never Land” for several years—meaning that it has been approved by Valencia, and later by the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture (etc), followed by publication in the Boletín Oficial…but it has not yet been approved by the EU. Click here to see the listing (from September 2013) of the publication in the BOE. Click here to see Chozas Carrascal listed—along with the other 19 pagos—as a VdP of Spain on September 19, 2019 (scroll down to the very bottom of the document). I can find evidence that Chozas Carrascal was submitted to the EU for approval as a DOP in December of 2012, but none showing that it has moved onto the “published” stage. This is about as complicated as it can get, and I do not claim to have the definitive answers...just some info.