For the son of a winery worker, Mariano García's rise to head winemaker of Vega Sicilia was transcendent. When another taster was needed for a blind tasting teenaged Mario was randomly pulled into the winemaker's office. Of all the tasters he was the only one to identify the two wines in the tasting that were identical. This gifted taster was immediately put to work and by age 24 he had taken over as winemaker of the legendary estate, a role he held for 30 years. Consequently, the world of fine wine was stunned several years ago when Mariano suddenly left Vega Sicilia to join his friend Javier Zaccagnini, the former President of the Consejo Regulador for the Ribera del Duero DO to found Aalto.
Now considered one of the great estates of Spain, Aalto proudly sits among Ribera del Duero's elite. As far as Ribera del Duero experts go, Mariano and Javier have few equals. When it came time for their own project to take flight they knew exactly where to find the best and oldest available vineyards. Today the wine is a blend of over 110 different vineyard plots sourced from several different villages and across all 3 distinct sub zones of the DO. Depending on the individual plot the soils are a mix of clay, limestone and hard, dense chalk between 750 and 950m in elevation. Mariano has a rare gift for articulating the special character of these old vine plots producing delicious age-worthy wine year after year.