In October 2010, Pago Aylés became the first estate in Aragón to obtain the Vino de Pago designation. Located in Cariñena, the estate grows grapes on 80 of its 3100 hectares. Less than half of the vines grow on soil that qualified for the Pago designation.
The Spanish wine classification system is reflective of a desire to ensure both production quality and expression of the terroir by having wineries comply with strict requirements relating to the production, processing, and bottling.
The Spanish Vineyard and Wine Act of 2003 innovated by introducing Estate Wines (Vinos de Pago): the highest established category for a wine. Those wines are made from grapes in vineyards which embody singular soil and microclimate characteristics, distinguishing them from other wines made in the same region. As of June 2019, there are only 17 estates with the Pago designation.
For Pago Aylés, the clay and calcareous soil where Pago vines are grown differs significantly from others in the Cariñena region, enough that only a portion of the domain’s 80 hectares where vine is cultivated obtained the Pago designation. The age of the vines (25-80 years old) and the valley climate are contributing factors to the quality of the wines produced at the estate.
Although not an obligation, Pago Aylés decided to move to organic farming for its Pago wines several years ago. Pago Aylés manages irrigation from rain water accumulated in huge basins because drought and intense heat make for harsh growing conditions, enough that the main indigenous plants are thyme and rosemary (they grow anywhere!). The Pago Aylés vines are not exposed to insecticides or pesticides. The domain uses pheromones, an approach approved for organic farming, to control insect populations. Grapes are night harvested to retain the freshness and acidity, and to prevent early fermentation during harvesting. The wines from 2020 and later are certified organic.
All the efforts to improve the quality of the terroir by letting it regain its balance let to the decision in 2015 to initiate the conversion to organic farming from 2016. It was a small step considering all that had been done, but it paid off rapidly. The extensive knowledge gained since the efforts made to obtain the Pago designation simplified the conversion, but the results that led to a better understanding of the various plots were significant and to observe systematic improvements in vine health and pest resistance.
The team at Pago Aylés, recognizing the impact of their efforts decided to create two new wines the embody this renewal. The first was created in 2017, the second in 2018. Those are the Vinos de Parcelas.
|Vinos de Pago|
|Vinos de Parcelas|