Producer

JEAN LEON

Country

SPAIN

Region of production

Penedès

Appellations

Penedès

Founded

1963

Climate

Mediterranean.

Soil composition

Gravel, calcareous clay, sand.

Vineyard

70 hectares under vine; 150 hectares in total.

Agriculture

Certified organic.

Production Volume

60% red wine, 30% white wine, 10% rosé.

Varieties Grown

Cabernet Franc , Cabernet Sauvignon , Chardonnay, Merlot, Petit Verdot Noir, Pinot Noir

Ages of Vines

From new plantings to over 50-year-old vines.

Behind the Wines

Jean Leon

Born in the Basque region of Spain, Jean Leon emigrated to America at the end of the 1940s. While working as a waiter in Frank Sinatra’s Villa Capri restaurant, Leon hobnobbed with Hollywood’s elite. This would stand him in good stead upon opening his own Beverly Hills-based Italian eatery. Leon’s La Scala was a celebrity hotspot throughout the late 1950s and 1960s. In 1963, Leon decided to follow another cherished dream; to produce his own fine wines. After scouring the vineyards of Europe, Leon settled on the Penedès region. A long and successful winemaking career followed. Before his death in 1996, Jean Leon entrusted his estate to the Torres Family.

Spanish wines with personnality

Jean Leon changed the face of Penedès wines. Upon acquiring his estate, he stunned local winegrowers by uprooted native grape varieties. Leon replanted his land with vine cuttings from the most prestigious estates of France. He was the first winemaker in Spain to produce a Cabernet Sauvignon dominant wine.
Access the wines of this producer

“Four Jean Leon wines are Single Vineyard Wine certified. Each vineyard has a singular personality and characteristics. They are a bottled expression of their terroir.” - Mireia Torres, head winemaker and Jean Leon Director

A Presidential Seal of Approval

Jean Leon’s Penedès wines rapidly met with critical acclaim in the United States. The intense, ripe-fruited character of Spain, paired with the noble grapes of Bordeaux, proved a winning combination. The 1975 vintage of Vinya La Scala Cabernet Sauvignon Gran Reserva was chosen for Ronald Reagan’s inaugural dinner at the White House.

The Single Vineyard Designation

Jean Leon was the first winery in Penedès to receive the Vi de Finca (Single Vineyard Wine) designation. This is the highest distinction a wine can obtain in Catalonia. The certification acknowledges the unique character of certain vineyard sites. More specifically, it highlights the rare combination of a particular variety, a certain type of soil, and a favourable microclimate that produce exceptional wine.

Old Vines and Organic Viticulture

The first Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards were planted in 1963. Sourced from among the finest wineries of France, a portion of these noble vines still exist today. They produce minute quantities of highly concentrated, flavourful grapes. The entire estate was converted to organic viticulture in 2008, and officially certified in 2012. The team works exclusively with natural fertilizers, integrated pest management techniques, and chemical-free herbicides. These natural practices have lead to balanced, healthy vineyards.

The Ultimate Jean Leon Food & Wine Pairing

Jean Leon’s Director, Mireia Torres, loves paella. Torres swears by her grandmother’s special recipe which combines sausage and seafood (monkfish, mussels, squid, cuttlefish, shrimp and langoustines). “It is very important to cook the rice in freshly prepared fish stock and really let the saffron shine”. Torres recommends the Vinya Gigi Chardonnay with this dish. The wine’s vibrant acidity, bright citrus flavours, and complex toasty finish make for an extraordinary match.