Wiki Spanish Food editorial team
The story of Pago de Carraovejas began in 1987, when José María Ruiz culminated his wine-gastronomy concept by transforming, at his restaurant in Segovia, the very concept of wine as it was served in Castilian taverns. He began by replacing the traditional wine jug at meals with a bottle of wine, paying extra close attention to its temperature and serving protocol. This project began with a venture into making a quality wine to accompany the signature dish at his restaurant José María: roast suckling pig.
Leveraging its privileged location, the hillsides of Peñafiel, historical hub of Ribera del Duero, Pago de Carraovejas collected its first harvest in 1991. The winery spans approximately 160 hectares at a height of more than 850 meters above sea level. The main types of grape varieties grown are Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Tempranillo.
The winery, which extends over more than 26,000 square meters, brings together tradition and innovation. It has modern facilities which use both traditional and advanced technologies. The winery uses an innovative fermentation system, whereby the overhead filling system comprises a small tank called OVI that is filled by gravity and then hoisted by a gantry crane that maneuvers it to the mouth of the tank to be filled.
Pago de Carraovejas' most recent acquisition is Ossian, a winery with vineyards in the Segovian town of Santa María la Real de Nieva, very close to DO Rueda. It purchased the bodega in mid-2013 and is already selling an organic Verdejo wine with the Vinos de la Tierra de Castilla y León label.
Ossian produces the following wines: Quintaluna, a young wine with no barrel aging; Ossian, a white made 100% from Verdejo grapes, and Ossian Capitel, another exceptional white made 100 % with Verdejo grapes; Verdling Trocken, a young white German-style Verdejo; and Verdling Dulce, a sweet 100% Verdejo wine.
In recent years, Pago de Carraovejas has received many awards for its wines, which are held in very high regard in Spain and around the world. A small percentage of production is sold at José María Ruiz's restaurant, which is located very close to Segovia's Plaza Mayor.
The winery also produces a unique wine especially for the restaurant which is not available for sale. The reinvention of the house wine that kicked off the project is served only at the restaurant.
It's also worth highlighting that Pago de Carraovejas recently received ISO 14001 certification for its Environmental Management System for wine production and aging at its facilities in Peñafiel. It previously had obtained ISO 9001 certification for Quality Management and SGE 21 certification for Corporate Social Responsibility. In short, it's a business that aims to improve management in all aspects of its activity, as well as its quality and sustainability.
For more information, visit the wineries' websites and check out #cultoalamesa on social media, which focuses on the family-owned group of companies comprising Restaurante José María and José María Events, Pago de Carraovejas, Ossian and roast suckling pig to-go.