Founded as a cooperative in 1962 in Miedes de Aragón (Zaragoza), its name honours Saint Alexander, whose remains are buried in the village's Franciscan convent. Its logo is inspired by the reliquary of the oldest religious brotherhood in the town.
Like most Garnacha producers in Aragón, the wines are primarily exported. The US is the main destination -Las Rocas de San Alejandro is made for E&J Gallo whereas Evodia goes to importer Eric Solomon. Nevertheless, both brands are available in Spain and in other countries.
San Alejandro sources grapes from 950 hectares of vines (1,250 plots) owned by 15 families in the region. Of these, 300 hectares are organically certified making the cooperative the largest farmer of organic surface under vine in Aragón. The cooperative makes good use of their vineyards' high altitude (800 to 1,075 metres), which means slow ripening cycles and a wide diversity of soils, ranging from slate to gravel and to a lesser extent chalk-clay.
San Alejandro produces around 2.8 million bottles; the rest is sold in bag-in-box and 1.5-litre pouches mostly to Norway under the successful brand Marques de Nombrevilla. The wine is a straightforward, spicy, young mountain Garnacha made exclusively for this Nordic country. 85% of the cooperative’s production is sold abroad.
The Viñas de Miedes entry-level range comes from vines aged under 35 years planted in chalk-clay soils and is sold in large retail stores, supermarkets, bars and restaurants.
Garnacha is fully expressed in the Baltasar Gracián range (400,000 bottles), named after the famous 17th century writer born in Calatayud. It offers almost unbeatable value: most wines are sold under €10. Made from old vines picked relatively early and aged shortly in concrete tanks, El Político (€7) is a great introuction to the region’s mountain climate. El Héroe Viñas Viejas (€11) is riper and creamier, and the Crianza and the Reserva include some Syrah in the blend. The white Viura and Garnacha Blanca blend offers outstanding value. Retailing at €16 in Spain, Clos Baltasar is the top red of this range. Grapes are sourced from vineyards grown at high elevation in the Sierra Santa Cruz and the wine is partially fermented with whole bunches and aged in concrete and French oak.
The cooperative has entered the premium price niche market thanks to a recent joint venture with Bodegas Frontonio to make the Cuevas de Arom range. This brand and Clos Baltasar are both made in separate winemaking facilities designed to work with greater detail and smaller volumes.
The organic range Querencia includes orange and sulfite-free wines and was launched in 2023. The aim is that the rest of the portfolio will eventually adopt the organic seal.
San Alejandro pioneered wine tourism in Calatayud. There are several tours which include a visit to the Theatre of Nature and Senses exhibition. At “Espacio Baltasar” there are a restaurant, conference room, wine bar and a space called “Baltasar's corner”, to learn more about the Aragon-born writer. The mix of paintings and decorative details in this and other spots across the facilities creates a relaxed, welcoming atmosphere.