Share this page
Rioja's peripatetic winemaker Alvaro Palacios was recently named Man of the Year in 2015 by Decanter magazine.
Palacios began his career at his family's winery in Alfaro in Rioja Baja but soon grew restless. Following a short stint working for a local barrel maker, Palacios moved to Priorat, a largely unknown wine district southwest of Barcelona. He quickly recognized the potential of the slate soil, climate and grapes of this wild region and began to produce miniscule amounts of wine that soon caught the attention of the trade and press around the world.
Palacios also helped put the Bierzo region in northwestern Spain on the map, producing wines with his cousin Ricardo Pérez.
Never forgetting his family in Rioja, Palacios returned to Alfaro to take charge of the family business and in the process, revitalized the image of the Rioja Baja, up to that time better known for producing high alcohol wines to be blended with wines from the Alta and Alavesa.
One of his latest projects is to revive grenache in the Baja, once the predominant variety in Rioja, and in the process, produce, in his words, "a game-changing Rioja".