Located in Quintanilla de Onésimo (Valladolid) adjacent to Vega Sicilia, Villacreces is one of the estates dotted along the star-studded N-122 road known as Ribera del Duero's “Golden Mile”. The property once belonged to the church -the name is said to come from Franciscan monk Pedro de Villacreces, one of the early settlers- but it passed onto the Marquis of Alonso Pesquera after the 19th century ecclesiastical confiscations of Mendizabal, which resulted in the expropiation and sale of monastic properties in Spain. It belongs to the Cuadrado family from the beginning of the 20th century, who started to bottle and brand the wine in the mid 1990s, in the midst of the appellation's boom.
The wines became well-known thanks to Peter Sisseck, who acted as consultant. He had already started to craft Pingus from a garage in Quintanilla de Onésimo and he sourced some Villacreces grapes for some of his first Flor de Pingus. In 2004, Grupo Artevino ( Izadi, Orben, Vetus) took over the estate, revamped its facilities and started anew from the 2007 vintage. The 100 hectares of the property lie on sandy soils, with 60 of them under vine. Tinto Fino (Tempranillo) is the main variety, but there is also some Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
The presence of the two foreign grapes is more obvious in Finca Villacreces (22€), the winery's flagship wine, which undergoes malolactic fermentation in barrels and is aged in French oak for 16 months. Pruno, with 10% Cabernet in the blend, offers great value for money (under 10€) and was launched during Artevino's new tenure. It received unprecedented media exposure after the 2010 vintage featured in The Wine Advocate as the year's Best Buy. The third wine in the range is ultra-premium Nebro (around 150€), which comes from a plot with very old vines and is only available in the best vintages.
The winery offers two types of tours, inlcuding one where visitors can taste the wines from the group's other wineries. There are dining facilities for groups and it caters for business meetings. The winery has an online shop.