Bodegas Mocén, located in Rueda, is not only known for its quality wines, but also for the unique visits it offers. I have visited the winery several times and each time it keeps surprising me.
The tour starts in the beautiful courtyard of the bodega, where Sylvia, the tour guide, explains the history of the Rueda wine region and of the winery itself. The Arabs introduced the vines to this region in the 11th century and 5 centuries later the Verdejo wines of Rueda were up to 10 times more expensive than any other Spanish wine, due to its popularity at the Spanish court.
Bodegas Mocén started working as a winery in 1988, led by José Luis Ruiz Solaguren (famous for his restaurant chain José Luis), and has since then received thousands of visitors. Among them were members of the Spanish royal family and government, famous Spanish writers such as Camilo José Cela and singers such as Julio Iglesias. The most well known visitors have their pictures hanging in the Photo Room of the winery, which is located in the old Press Chamber.
Then Sylvia will take you to the wine making facilities. She’ll explain how the harvest takes place and which path the grapes need to take before they are turned into wine. Apparently the mix of the red grapes (juice and grape skins) need to be stirred frequently, which back in the days they accomplished by throwing a cat into the mix!
The time has come to put on your jacket, because the tour will continue underground, where it can be quite cold. The path leads past huge wine barrels, where wines are aging, furtherdown to the underground corridors of the winery. This maze of tunnels has a total length of 3 kilometers where thousands of bottles are stored. José Luis also gathered an impressive collection of glassware, which in combination with the mold create a bit of a spooky atmosphere.
Then the tour will take you up again, where the bottling process takes place. The winery produces around 4 million bottles a year, which counts for 3% of the total production of the D.O. Rueda. On your way to another part of the winery, a little part of the vineyards is visible. Definitely worth some pictures!
One of the most unique parts of Bodegas Mocén is the private library. Thousands of books were gathered by José Luis to fill the shelves, most donated by a friend of his. Books about all kinds of topics can be found here, of which wines, cooking, Spanish literature, different parts of Spain and medicine are only some examples. If I could, I would love to lock myself up in that library for a few months.
You will see another amazing collection in the art gallery, where paintings from different styles are displayed in several rooms. If you would like to see all of them, you will definitely need to come back a second time.
The visit will end with the tasting of 2 wines, which will take place in the modern wine store of Bodegas Mocén. And off course there is time to ask some more questions or buy some wine to take home.
If you are interested in reading more Bodegas Mocén, this is their website:
And if you like to visit them, via this link you can make a reservation: