Bodegas Vatan produces wines in two of Spain's most revered regions, the D.O. Toro and D.O. Rueda.D.O.Toro: Triton Tinta de Toro, Vatan, Vatan Arena D.O.Rueda: Nisia, Nisia Las Suertes
D.O. Toro: Long ago, the town of Toro was famous for producing the finest red wine in Spain and was mentioned in the historic literature of Alfonso IX (King of León, 12th c.), Juan Ruiz the Archpriest of Hita, Quevedo, Luis de Góngora, and Miguel de Cervantes. In 14th Century Sevilla, the sale of any foreign wine was prohibited, save the wines of Toro. These wines also accompanied Spanish explorers to the New World.
The legendary Duero River plays a very important role in the history of D.O. Toro. The Duero deposited Toro’s characteristic sandy soils in this region thousands of years ago. These sandy soils allowed D.O. Toro to completely resist the phylloxera plague, and as a result, Toro was the only Spanish region that completely resisted the phylloxera, and is home to the highest concentration of ungrafted vines in Spain.
Jorge Ordóñez is Toro’s most important modern pioneer. When Jorge first travelled to Toro in 1991 he discovered no more than five cooperative wineries. He also found acres of incredible pre-phylloxera vineyards, planted on their original rootstock. In 1995, Jorge first travelled to Toro with the Eguren family of Rioja, in hopes of founding a winery with them. In 1997, Bodegas Numanthia was founded by Jorge and the Eguren family, and become an icon for this historic region and the production of world class wines from authentic vineyards. By the time Jorge and his associates sold Numanthia to LVMH in 2007, there were 85 other wineries in D.O. Toro attempting to emulate the success of Numanthia.
After the sale of Numanthia, Jorge founded Bodegas Ordóñez, his personal project in D.O. Toro. One of the wines produced by Bodegas Ordóñez, Triton, is considered by many to be Toro’s finest value. As Ordóñez himself says, it is an honor and privilege to produce wines from the oldest clones of Tempranillo, planted and cared for with the most traditional methods of viticulture. Bodegas Ordóñez has now been renamed Bodegas Vatan, where Jorge pioneers and champions D.O. Toro as one of the world’s finest red wine regions.
Toro is a special region for Jorge and the rest of Jorge Ordóñez Selections, because it is the perhaps the region that best embodies the Ordóñez philosophy – producing wine from the oldest clones of Spain’s indigenous varieties. The local indigenous grape, Tinta de Toro, is Spain’s oldest and most original clone of Tempranillo. It produces the deepest, most intense expression of Tempranillo in Spain, and it is a grape with a noble history that should be heralded. Bodegas Vatan produces wine from ungrafted, head trained, and dry farmed vineyards of Tinta de Toro planted in 1900, 1916, 1946, and 1962.
D.O. Rueda: Bodegas Vatan's proprietary project in D.O. Rueda, produces the finest Verdejo in Spain, voted as such by the Guía Peñin for the past two years running. Verdejo is one of Spain’s most historic white grapes, as it has been in production since the Roman times, several thousand years ago.
After over fifteen years as the lead producer of quality Verdejo in Spain, Ordóñez chose Santiuste de San Juan Bautista, Segovia, as the viticultural source for the project. This isolated corner of the D.O. is home to sandy soils intermixed with river stones that were deposited here tens of thousands of years ago when the Duero river was several hundred miles wide. Due to the sandy soils, this sub-appellation of Rueda, shaped like Italy’s boot, resisted the phylloxera. Bodegas Vatan takes advantage of this unique terroir to produce wine from its ungrafted vineyards, the oldest of which was planted in 1885.
The winery’s philosophy is to produce high quality, serious, age worthy wines from this historic grape. Rueda is Spain’s fastest growing D.O., but unfortunately, most of this growth has been in the commercialized, bulk wine sector. Most of these wines are sterile filtered immediately after fermentation, stripping the wine of any character. We pioneer the opposite philosophy, by aging all of our wines sur lie and barrel fermenting a large percentage in large format, mostly used French oak of the highest quality. Bodegas Vatan produces wine in Rueda from dry farmed, head trained, ungrafted vineyards of Verdejo. Read more about the commercialization of Rueda in the D.O. Rueda write up.