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The Spanish Winemaker of the Moment

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Alvaro Palacios is everywhere these days—even in the movies! Well, sort of. The undisputed star of modern Spanish winemaking appears in F&W’s April issue at a party in Manhattan’s new City Winery. Then, when I was watching the recently released DVD of Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona, I saw that Allen thanked Palacios in the credits. (I almost missed it, distracted as I was by thoughts of how I might come back in another life as the stunning Penélope Cruz). This makes sense: It seemed that every character in every scene was holding, swishing or sipping a glass of wine. As it turns out, the film’s producers, who are Catalan, approached Palacios about using his wines. He obliged. Palacios’s bottlings, especially those from the Priorat region in Catalonia, are some of Spain’s finest. His Finca Dofí (a Grenache- and Cabernet-based blend) and his Les Terrasses (which combines Carignane and Grenache with a touch of Cabernet and Syrah) are both featured prominently in the film. He also supplied wines from Bierzo, in northwest Spain, as well as a couple of Riojas. In return for all of this fabulous vino, which I can only imagine the actors savored (and for which Palacios supposedly received no payment), he was invited to attend the Spanish premier. Who got the better deal?

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