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At 47, Pablo Ossorio is already one of the most recognized, valued, and sought-after oenologists in all Spain. Among his most important awards are Best Oenologist in Valencia in 2008, Best Oenologist in Spain in the National Guide SEVI 2012, and Celebrity in the World of Spanish Wine, in 2015.
Currently, he excels as a founding partner of Bodegas Hispano+Suizas S.L., Technical Director of Bodegas Vegamar, Director of Bodegas Herseca, and is in charge of Oenoconsulting Ossorio & Ossorio S.L., a wine consulting firm with international reach.
At 47, Pablo Ossorio is already one of the most recognized, valued, and sought-after oenologists in all Spain.
- What do you remember from your childhood?
I was born and raised in Ponferrada, Leon. My mother was born in Carracedo del Monasterio, a town nearby where we have a house that belonged to my grandfather. My childhood memories are tied to this place and playing with my brother, Angel, and my cousins. My parents, Charo and Angel, were very religious and thanks to them I have deeply rooted values. I was even an altar boy as a child.
- What was your first experience with wine?
I am the last grandson of Dario Ossorio and the only one dedicated to enology. I mention my grandfather because he had a winery that made wines and liquors, and that place holds pleasant memories for me. Later, when I was a student, I harvested grapes at a local cooperative to make a little money. I worked doing everything, and I learned much.
- Was it then that you decided to study enology?
That’s how it was, I sought advice from the cooperative’s oenologist, and he recommended I study at the Escuela de Enología de Requena because it was one of the best in Spain. I graduated first in my class.
- What happened then?
I started working immediately. First at the Cacabelos wine cooperative in Leon and, after I turned 21, the Escuela de Enología de Requena (Requena School of Oenology) called to tell me that a winery needed someone like me to go to Italy. I didn’t think twice, and I spent two years in Puglia, Taranto, and Sicily. After that, I spent a year in Mendoza, Argentina, where I made wines for a Spanish winery.
- Later came your transcendental tenure at Bodegas Murviedro of the Schenk Group, one of the leading companies in Europe.
It was a stroke of luck. I left them my curriculum, and they liked me. They were seeking an oenologist to replace a colleague who was retiring in two years. I started the project with an annual production of 4 million bottles, and when I left 17 years later, it was up to 20 million bottles.
- While working for Bodegas Murviedro, you had the idea of creating a small boutique winery, almost unique in Spain.
In 2006, I decided, along with my friends Marc Grin and Rafael Navarro, to establish Bodegas Hispano+Suizas S.L. in Requena, a dream that became a reality. We have our own vineyards and we make elegant, balanced wines and cavas with the utmost expressivity that have earned their place among the best in the country. Also, the winery’s labels are the only wines included in the Asociación Española del Lujo, and we are one of the most award-winning cellars in our country.
- You are one of Spain’s most influential oenologists. Which are the wines you like?
A good wine can be defined with just one word: balance. I taste many wines, and I know what consumers like. The wines that truly succeed are those made in the best environments by the best professionals.
- What is your soft spot as far as wines are concerned?
Although I love the reds, it is the whites, rosés and the sparkling wines that enormously attract me. Few people know that white and rosé winemaking is very complicated, because if you make a mistake during the harvest, even if it’s minimal, it’s impossible to get a good wine.
- Finally, tell me, what would life be like without wine?
I always say that wine joins and brings together with bonds of friendship. For me, wine is about pleasure, delight, and the joy of living. I can’t imagine life without wine. ■