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Vega Sicilia to move into Rioja?

Vega Sicilia has set its sights on Rioja, buying vineyards in the north of the region, according to local reports.

Local newspaper Diario La Rioja has reported that Vega, considered one of Spain’s finest producers and the star of Ribera del Duero, is believed to have been acquiring parcels of old vineyards in the area around San Vicente de la Sonsierra, part of Rioja’s ‘golden mile’ and located between the renowned wine towns of Haro and Laguardia.

Over 40 small growers have left the San Vicente de la Sonsierra co-operative over the last two years. Most sold their vineyards – generally mature low-yielding properties with stony soils – last year.

A company callled Plalia Inversiones, which is linked to Vega Sicilia, has bought 80-100ha of vineyards – all of them meeting a similar brief.

Speculation has mounted in recent weeks following sightings of key figures from the winery including oenologist Javier Ausás and agricultural engineer Enrique Macías Gómez as the project seems to gather pace.

They are believed to have made wine from the 2009 vintage at a rented winery facility at Lezas near Laguardia.

Vega Sicilia has been owned by the Alvarez Díaz family since 1982 and is headed up by Pablo Alvarez.

The Grupo Vega Sicilia portfolio also includes Bodegas Alión (Ribera del Duero), Bodegas Pintia (Toro) and Tokay Oremus in Hungary, which were all established or acquired in the 1990s.

Bordeaux 2009: All the coverage

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Written by Patricia Langton

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