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Bodegas Balbás – Passing the baton to the next generation

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One of the oldest wineries in Ribera del Duero, Bodegas Balbás sees a new generation of the family take the helm.

It’s an important moment for Bodegas Balbás, one of Spain’s oldest wineries, situated in La Horra or the ‘Golden Diamond’, in Spain’s prestigious Ribera del Duero region. Now sisters Patricia and María Balbás are taking over the reins from their parents, Juan José Balbás and Clara de la Fuente, becoming the seventh generation of their family to run the historic winery.

Continuity between successive generations is key to the winery’s approach, dating as far back as 1777, when Juan José’s great-great-grandfather, Abundio Balbás, first began producing wine from his own vineyards.

Juan José Balbás, Clara de la Fuente, Patricia Balbás and María Balbás, owners of Bodegas Balbás winery in Spain

Juan José Balbás and Clara de la Fuente are handing over control of the winery to their daughters Patricia and María Balbás, who are becoming the seventh generation of their family to run the historic winery.

A story of many generations

Patricia and María have big shoes to fill – their father was one of the founders of Ribera del Duero’s Designation of Origin back in 1982. There’s also pressure to embrace the winemaking possibilities that the region offers – the highly regarded ‘Golden Diamond’ within the DO has been recognised as a key area for viticultural potential in Spain.

One thing that won’t change though is the family’s focus on using only its own grapes. Bodegas Balbás owns all its vineyards, which allows the winery to maintain complete control over the entire production process and to produce expressive wines that speak of terroir. The bodega owns 140 hectares of vineyards and many of the vines are up to 100 years old. Bodegas Balbás has also been a pioneer in planting vineyards at altitude, with vines situated at close to 1,000 metres above sea level, a reflection of the winery’s constant commitment to innovation.

Balbás winery's Gran Reserva wine from Ribera del Duero in Spain

A focus on quality

A focus on quality is demonstrated across the Bodegas Balbás portfolio, represented in two different ranges. The classic Balbás range is a faithful reflection of Ribera del Duero wines – from Crianza to Reserva and Gran Reserva. The wines are made under the expert guidance of winemaker Pedro de la Fuente and Fernando Izquierdo, director of viticulture, both of whom boast more than 25 years of experience working at Bodegas Balbás.

Balbás winery's La Retama white wine

The Grandes Pagos range, meanwhile, celebrates specific plots, including La Retama – a modern white made from Albillo Mayor – and Alitus, a blend of Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot from the bodega’s oldest vines grown on its El Portillo estate. With an unremitting focus on quality and terroir expression, the latest generational handover marks an exciting new chapter for Bodegas Balbás.

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Logo of Bodegas Balbás winery in Spain

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