Catalan wine: Bodega Iniesta Minuto 116


This month we look at Catalan wine and a family vineyard that has a very famous son.

Located in the heart of La Manchuela, between the basins of the Rivers Cabriel and Júcar, lies Bodega Iniesta, in Fuentealbilla, province of Albacete. It was created in the 1990s when José Antonio Iniesta started the project with a plantation of 10 hectares of vineyards. After several years and given the results obtained, he continued his work in viticulture by planting different varieties and increasing the vine-growing area to the current 120 hectares.

Bodega Iniesta is in charge of the whole process from the vineyards to the commercialization of the wines. At the beginning of the 2000s, an idea began to take shape to build his own wine cellar in order to produce his own wines from his own vineyards. This dream became a reality in 2010, when the construction of the wine cellar was complete.

If the vineyard’s name rings a bell that may well be because José Antonio’s grandson is none other than Andres Iniesta, one of the greatest footballers to ever grace the world’s arenas. He puts a lot of time and energy into promoting the family business, but not just for the sake of it. Growing up in a wine region, he has always had a passion for it. He has never forgotten his roots.

As an appreciation of his help the firm has called two of the wines after his children, daughter Valeria (“in the mouth slightly syrupy, producing a sense of balance with a long and intense finish”) and son Paolo Andrea (“wine made from the Bobal variety, aged in French oak barrels for 12 months”). One other “very elegant wine, made from the best Tempranillo and Petit Verdot grapes” is entitled ‘Minuto 116 Tinto’, after the exact minute in extra time when Iniesta scored the goal that won Spain the World Cup in 2010.

Overall, one million bottles of wine were produced by Bodega Iniesta in 2015 and it hopes to produce 1.2 million this year. They produce reds, roses, whites and sparkling, ranging in price from €8 to €19.