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Alejandro Fernández is the living image of a self-made man. He had always dreamt of setting up his own winery and making great red wines while he was making a living doing different jobs as a young man. Following on from the family tradition learnt from his father, Alejandro would make wine each year from the grapes of his small vineyard. However, he had to wait until 1972 to have his own real winery. It had a small 16th century winepress where almost the whole process was conducted. Ten years would pass before the Tinto Pesquera winery would look more or less the same as it does today. The ancient winepress, however, still survives to this day.
All his vineyards are planted with Tempranillo vines in which Alejandro is a master. Today the results of his efforts are known and appreciated around the world. These are red wines in which the wood is enormously respectful to the fruit. Wines that gain in complexity and nuances as the years go by without losing theri original character. These are Pesquera red wines.
Janus is the top wine of Pesquera, and is only made in the best years. It is complex, balanced, rounded, intenseand full of nuances. Named after a Roman god, it is a wine that merges together old and new winemaking techniques perfectly, expressing the best of both.
In 1982 the vintage was one of the best in living memory. This lead Alejandro to carrying out a unique experience: making two different wines from the same grapes. Firstly, he took half the bunches and placed them whole into the old stone wine press to make wine in the traditional way. Then he de-stemmed the remaining grapes and fermented them in the winery's stainless steel tanks.
Both wines satisfied their maker. The first wine, which was made in the traditional way, was only sold in Spain. The second, however, was the first Pesquera wine to be exported and opened up the way to the winery's worldwide renown in the world.
But Alejandro wanted to go just a little bit further. He mixed the last 2.000 litres of each kind of wine in equal measures and placed the resulting wine to rest for three years in old American oak barrels. The end result was a totally unique, extraordinarily complex and balanced wine bottled in 1986 that was different from the rest.
This wine was named Janus. Only 6.000 bottles were produced during the first Janus vintage in 1986, which appeared in the autumn of 1988.
Bodegas Alejandro Fernández has 200 hectares of top quality vineyards, where the grapes are grown to make its Tinto Pesquera red wine. These vineyards soak up the heat of the sun in a site surrounded by pebbles and poor soil.
In 1972, Alejandro Fernández decided to take advantage of the land and create a wine that would surely do it proud – and this was how Tinto Pesquera came into being.
The 1982 vintage was one of the best in living memory. This lead Alejandro Fernández to carrying out a unique wxperience: making two different wines from the same grapes. Firstly, he took half the bunches and placed then whole onto the old dtone wine press to make wine in the traditional way. Then he de-stemmed the remaining grapes and fermented them in the winery's stainless steel tanks.
Both wines satisfied their maker. The first wine, which was made in the traditional way, was only sold in Spain. The second, however, was the first Pesquera wine to be exported and opened up the way to the winery's worldwide renown in the wine world.
But Alejandro wanted to go just a little bit further. He mixed the last 2000 litres of each kind of wine in equal measures and placed the resulting wine to "rest" for three years in old American oak barrels. The end result was a totally unique, extraordinarily comölex and balanced wine bottled in 1986 that was different from the rest.
The wine was named "Janus" after the Roman god of doors, thresholds, communication routes and anything that has a beginning.
It is impossible to speak of modern Spanish wine without mentioning the key role that Alejandro Fernández played in shaping it. The wines that people drank in Spain at the time he created Tinto Pesquera were nothing like the wines we enjoy today. They were classic reds, rather colourless, with little body and a distinctly woody flavour. The wine that Alejandro produced was of another class altogether. It was of a darker, deep red colour rather than the usual brick-red shade and it was an intense wine, more fruity than woody in nature. It was heavy in tannin and designed to keep for many years in the bottle. It was an original wine that at first seemed too much of a risk with features that came as a surprise to everyone. But just over 20 years later, it is the basis for many of the great Spanish wines.
Alejandro Fernández provides a simple explanation for why he produced such a distinctive wine. "Wines like this with greater body and colour had always been produced in Pesquera and I wanted to continue the tradition while improving on it: harvesting the grapes on time, selecting the right grapes, making the wine well and ensuring that the woodiness does not outstrip the fruitiness."
During the earliest years, Fernández made wine with a small press, which he has kept to this day. It was only in 1982 that that he started using stainless steel vats, which Alejandro and his family set up in the old workshop, a custom that has lasted to the present day.