A Visit to Vega Sicilia

One does not simply walk into Vega. However, sometimes the positive energy you try to put out in the world comes back and the heavens open up or you are very, very lucky. Or both.

Even as our party bus from the hotel in Madrid pulled up to the gates of Vega, we were holding our breath, not truly believing that this was actually going to happen and that they were going to let us in. The gatehouse guard was unsmiling as he diligently checked our passports against the copies that we had sent several months prior. Once the gate opened, our bus was led by uniformed escort to a designated area.

It wasn’t until we got off the bus and a smiling gentleman said the words, “Welcome to Vega Sicilia” did I really let out my breath. Our tour was led by Cesar Roman, who heads their operations in Asia. He was so sweet and answered every one of our questions and took us on an extensive tour of the property.

Perhaps it’s the marketer in me, but the whole time we were there, all I could think was that Vega Sicilia is a Master Class in branding. Everything was pristine, exact, and served to elevate the brand – from the bins that hold the freshly harvested grapes to the glass surrounding their barrel-washing machine, to all the gutters on the property – were perfect and branded. The design of the property and buildings were a seamless combination of history, tradition, and the latest technology.

Cesar took us on a tour of the gardens and showed us a grove of young oak trees, telling us that they have planted thousands of American Oaks, in the hope that one day in the (far) future, everything that goes into making the wine will come from Vega itself, including the oak for the barrels.

There is art everywhere you look – from the carvings in the barrel making area to the huge pieces in the cavernous rooms housing the sleeping wine. As we entered the Unico aging room, the phrase “This wine deserves art!” proclaimed itself as the art from the labels stood guard over the young wine.

Our tour concluded with a fabulous tasting of their current wines, which of course, were all outstanding. We were feeling a bit peckish and Cesar recommended a local restaurant in the village that was known for their suckling lamb roasted in clay ovens overnight. The village itself was right out of a storybook and the lamb was some of the best in my life. It was insanely tender and full of flavor. And of course they had Vega in the cellar so we had to have some. What a way to top off the visit of a lifetime!


Just some of the art.


The grounds.


Wow. That is amazing. Thanks for posting!

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Fantastic stuff! Sounds like a wonderful visit

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Their ultimate goal is to have everything that goes into making the Unico grown on the grounds. Currently, they import American Oak and age it there themselves for the barrels. They also import some French barrels. Their master barrel-maker is descended from a family that has been making barrels for Vega for generations. He was so kind and sweet as he took us through the process.

There is a large grove of young Oak trees grown from over a thousand American Oak acorns. It’ll be quite a while before these will can replace some of the oak used in barrel making. This is long term planning beyond what I can imagine.


Your future Unico.


I hate you


This was the restaurant that we went to after our visit. The best lamb I’ve ever tasted came from these ovens. It was so delicious, so tender, so simple.

The Unico hole we made in their cellar. Don’t worry, there’s plenty more left.


@David_K_o_l_i_n :grin: :kissing: :kissing:

I wondered if you’d ended up at Mannix when you mentioned a nearby restaurant! It’s actually incredibly famous all over the world for the lamb (lechazo) and people make pilgrimages there just for the lamb. We hit Mannix and another place in Palencia called La Encina on the same weekend last October to compare the two lechazo. Though we ultimately gave the overall experience nod to La Encina, the lamb at Mannix was ever so slightly better.


The refrigerated vaults where the fruit is chilled before being sorted and pressed.


What a fantastic share, thank you for bringing us along for the journey!

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WOW! Thanks for sharing!

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Excellent report and great photos - It’s like being there oneself - thanks!


I have tried for 10 years to get in there and have yet to be successful and I have 2 cases of their wines in my cellar bought directly from them.


That lamb does indeed look amazing

How was the 2010 Unico? I have 3 bottles in my cellar

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Blake Brown has posted 2 lengthy notes on the '10 Unico in the past 4 weeks :). They’re a good read. A couple hours with each bottle.


Fantastic pictures and story. Thanks for sharing.

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Thanks for the great write up, we did an Único tasting last year that was great, hope to visit one day.

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