Everyone says my father and I are sooooo alike. There are also plenty of ways in which we are different. But I can’t deny that I see myself in him more and more every day.
We both like to take our time and think things through, but once something captivates us we are unstoppable… like a couple of whirlwinds.
I set out at the age of 18, when I decided to pack my bags and go and study oenology in Bordeaux, with hardly any knowledge of French. I soon felt at home there. We were not cooped up in a lab in white coats for our oenology classes; we were out in the fields in rubber boots. That was part of why I fell in love with what is now my profession. Contact with the land, the soil, getting my hands full of mud and my mind full of games with the elements.
After that I went on to see more of the world. I worked in France for Pichon Comtesse de Lalande, then I spent some time at Torres, one of the biggest wineries in Spain; and, later, moved by another fit of passion for wine and a yen to see what it was it was like on the other side of the world, I set off for Australia to work for Yalumba.
After a time, I came back to Spain but not right back home. I worked for Nekeas for a time and from there I came to Olite, to our own winery, where I have remained, learning every day from my family, not only my own flesh and blood but also the larger family of those who work with us.
Beatriz and I have an enormous challenge ahead of us. We will inherit a centuries-old family legacy. It is our duty to keep it going and, if possible, improve it. It is a huge responsibility. Of course… when we are passionate about something… energy tends to spiral upwards, and here we are, innovating, but always with full respect for my father’s good practice and that of generations past, and filled with passion and enthusiasm to keep Bodegas Ochoa a reference.
This wine is one of my babies and therefore has part of me in it. I wanted it to reflect a part of my philosophy, part of what underlies everything I do in the winery and what my forebears maintained in their work. It is called Origen because it is meant to reflect a love of the soil, of the earth. It is made from a selection of three different varietals from three different plots all with a common feature: the soil: -a wonderful scree, which gives the wine the most exquisite nuances.
I am in love with Graciano, a special grape generally used in blends. My challenge was to create a wine that was 100% Graciano, balanced, full of flavour and surprising. And I managed it! It is anew-style wine made from a varietal that has long been grown in our vineyards and now plays the star role in 8A Mil Gracias.