This past week I was honored to meet with Alberto Moro of Bodegas Emilio Moro during his visit to Arkansas. Moro represents the fourth generation to work for his family’s winery, founded in 1932.
The Moro family has been producing wines for more than 120 years in Spain’s Ribera del Duero. Most may not be familiar with this small region in northern Spain. It was declared an official viticulture area in 1982, making it relatively new for a Spanish Denominacion de Origen. This region is prized for its tempranillo grape. It’s the terroir of this grape, grown in diverse soils and at a very high elevation, that makes it one of the most expressive and distinctive reds in the world.
In 1891, Alberto’s great-grandfather, Emilio Moro, was born in Pesquera de Duero, the center of wine production in the Ribera del Duero. Moro developed vineyards and focused on bulk wine production, as many in Spain were doing at this time. Moro’s son, also named Emilio, began working in the winery with his father at 14. He was dedicated to the passion of continuing the legacy of the vineyards and the family name.
In the late 1980s, Jose, Alberto’s father, met with his four children and they agreed it was time for the family business to focus on the world’s demand for quality rather than quantity. They began planting new vineyards by grafting quality older vines with a specific clone of tinto fino (the local name for tempranillo) that the Moro family had grafted to vines decades before. In 1989, Bodegas Emilio Moro launched its first wines from these new vineyards, gaining the DO (Denominacion de Origen or Wine Appellations) status of quality wines in Spain.
Bodega Emilio Moro’s transition from quantity to quality wines payed off as it is now considered one of the Ribera del Duero’s most elite wineries.
- 2015 Bodegas Emilio Moro Resalso, Spain (about $15 retail)
- 2013 Bodegas Emilio Moro Malleolus, Spain (about $49 retail)