A Vino de Pago is an outstanding type of wine due to its uniqueness and careful production
Besides a physical location, the word Pago (estate) refers to a specific category within Spanish wine law.
The word pago derives from the Latin Word pagus, meaning a small hamlet or a rural estate (or finca). Nowadays the term pago refers to “a limited area of lands and estates, usually vineyards and olive groves”, although it is still used in its original sense of “small village or hamlet”. Ultimately, in the wine world a physical pago describes the delimited piece of land –with its individual name– where the vineyards are.
Moreover, Vino de Pago is a category of wine; it is actually the highest category that exists within Spanish wine law. The Vineyard and Wine Act 24/2003 of July 10th states that a pago is “a rural site with particular edaphic and microclimate characteristics which differentiate it from its environment and where wines of singular features and qualities are obtained. Besides, the grape production, the winemaking and the bottling must take place within the pago strictly following the production rules stated by the specific ministerial decree for each pago”.
Currently two parallel laws coexist, that of Spain and the other of Europe. European law distinguishes two categories of wine: Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) and Protected Geographical Indication (PGI). Within the PDO category, the EU includes the Spanish categories: Vino de Pago, Qualified Designation of Origin (Denominación de Origen Calificada, DOCa), Designation of Origin (DO) and Quality Wines with a Geographical Indication (Vinos de Calidad con Indicación Geográfica, VCIG).
Wines with a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) —Vinos de Pago are among them— must meet the following requirements:
- Their quality and characteristics are essentially or exclusively due to their geographical origin, together with its inherent human and cultural factors
- 100% of the grapes from which they are produced come exclusively from this geographical area
- Their production takes place solely in this geographical area
- They are obtained from vine varieties belonging to Vitis vinifera
Furthermore, the association Grandes Pagos de España upholds and promotes the culture around Vino de Pago wines, which are “produced in a specific terroir, reflecting the unmistakable personality of its soils, subsoils and climate”.
It must be noted that not all the wines among Grandes Pagos de España belong to the category of Vinos de Pago according to Spanish law. However, the association highlights that all its wines “follow the same philosophy based on the singularity of their vineyards and the quality of their production; the result are wines which faithfully express their geographical origin and their creators’ passion for a job well-done”.
Dehesa del Carrizal is not only a Vino de Pago with a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO), it is also one of the 27 wineries that make up Grandes Pagos de España.
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