Pago de los Capellanes is one of the classic wineries of the Ribera del Duero appellation. Founded in 1996 by husband and wife Paco Rodero and Concha Villa, and supported by the winemaker Paco Casas, they produce between 800,000 and 950,000 bottles each year, and currently work exclusively with the Tinto Fino (Tempranillo) variety.
Located in Pedrosa de Duero (Burgos), home to other emblematic wineries such as Carmelo Rodero and Hnos. Pérez Pascas, the Capellanes estate is situated around a group of eight centuries-old walnut trees that form a rectangle, much like a cloister. Like other properties in the region, this one once belonged to the Church, and the winery’s name is in fact a nod to the chaplains (capellanes) from the parish of Pedrosa, who used to frequent the place back in the 13th and 14th centuries.
The Rodero-Villa family owns 125 hectares of Tinto Fino vines, all of which make use of trellis systems. The vineyard is divided into 35 plots that are vinified separately; yields are limited to 5,000 kilo/ha. The ageing process takes place in an underground cellar, designed by architect Jesús Manzanares, with a depth reaching 10 metres. The wines rest in 22 different types of new French oak casks (one to three years old) select-ed based on their origin (Allier, Nevers, Centre), dried outdoors (between 24 and 60 months) and toasted.
The winery markets five wines. Those with the highest production (both around 400,000 bottles) are Pago de los Capellanes Joven Roble (€10), a blend from 20 plots with five months of ageing in new 300-litre casks, and Pago de los Capellanes Crianza (€18), a blend from 18 plots that is aged for 12 months. Pago de los Capellanes Reserva (60,000 bottles, 14 months, €32) comes from two plots and is bottled without being filtered or clarified. The top range includes two single-vineyard wines: Pago de los Capellanes Parcela El Nogal (€39 and 22,000 bottles), which comes from six hectares of sandy loam soil, where the grapes are left to mature longest on the vines – reflected in the opulent, enveloping style of the wine; and the exclusive Pago de los Capellanes Parcela El Picón (€140 and 2,200 bottles), which comes from a two-hectare plot with clay loam soil and a gravel surface, considered to be the winery’s best wine for ageing in the bottle.
Pago de los Capellanes offers guided tours of its facilities, all of which begin with a viewing of the video Un año en Pago de los Capellanes (One year at Pago de los Capellanes), a short by Javier Rodero Villa, son of the founders, which was awarded first prize at the 2011 Oenovidéo Festival in Paris. The family is also considering hosting tasting courses at the winery in future.