González Byass – from Jerez into the world

González Byass – from Jerez into the world
González Byass – from Jerez into the world

The González family has been involved in the wines and spirits business since 1835, concentrating their efforts in making the highest quality products and being market leaders in their sector. Although the family roots are firmly based in Jerez and their business has been built on their excellent Sherries and Brandies de Jerez, today the fifth generation of González have diversified into high-end wine production in some of Spain’s leading wine regions. 

                 

The company name is short and sweet: Familia de Vino or wine family. Now in its fifth generation, the González family has been in this business since 1835, when a certain Manuel María González Ángel settled in Jerez in order to get into the booming wine business. The name Byass does not come into play until many years later, when González brought his English importer Robert Blake Byass on board (1885). The Byass family left the company in 1998, but the name has remained.

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Innovation and introducing the latest advances to the business has been a common theme throughout the history of this family company. Manuel María González was the first to bring electricity to Jerez and indeed the first in Spain to use electricity to light and run his bodega. He was also the first to ensure that the national rail system arrived to Jerez, his grandchildren and great grandchildren following in the same vein by ensuring that the business have always been up-to-theminute in technology and the latest advances both in terms of production and innovation in products.

Innovation, such as the launch of the world’s first Sherry bar in London and the new Las Palmas range, does not just happen in Jerez. The González Byass “Family of Wine” now extends to Rioja, Somontano, Penedès, and Castilla-La Mancha. In each of these regions the family seeks to find the best possible plots of land in order to produce the best of what these regions have to offer. In Rioja, Bodegas Beronia, Spain’s top ten Rioja brand, has begun to gain tremendous international recognition with it Reservas and Gran Reservas gaining 92+ from Robert Parker and being scored as top Rioja in the Wine Spectator ’100 Best Wines’ three years running. Beronia was the first Rioja brand to work with French and American oaks to improve the balance and integration of the wines, creating the first barrels of their kind in the region using French oak heads and American oak staves.

In 2008 the family further expanded their family of wineries to the region of Somontano. Amongst the hidden valleys in the foot hills of the Pyrenees, Viñas del Vero is the region’s leader in its work with native and international varieties – now Somontano’s benchmark producer when it comes to high quality wine. Site selection here paramount and the team at Viñas del Vero have continued the traditions of the Bordelais who first brought international varietals to the region back in the late 1800’s to produce some of Spain’s very best Chardonnay, Cabernet and Merlots. Alongside this they have rediscovered the delights of old vine Garnacha, in the lost valley of Secastilla, “The valley of the Seven Castles”; working to rejuvenate the more than 70 year old vines to produce an intense and authentic Granacha.

Around the same time as the González family purchased Bodegas Beronia, in the early 80’s, in Rioja they also expanded into Penedès and acquired Vilarnau, a small winery dedicated to producing artesanal cavas from the highest vineyards around Sant Sadurni d’Anoia. The ethos here is to work hard in the vineyard to retain the highest levels of acidity, ensuring the long and balanced ageing of Vilarnau’s sparkling wines. Always looking for new ways to promote and develop their wines, the team have worked with world-renowned designer Antonio Miró to develop outstanding packaging whilst in the winery experimenting with little known, indigenous varietals, like Trepat, to challenge and excite the consumer.

Passionate about the unique terroirs of Spain, in the last decade the González family has embarked on two new vineyard projects from scratch, one in Jerez and the other in Castilla- La Mancha. In the higher regions close to Jerez in Arcos de la Frontera, Finca Moncloa is a single vineyard site that has been planted by the family to reintroduce the old tradition of red wine making to the region. Breaking the mould once again, the González family has returned to the tradition of planting red grapes and is proving that Syrah, Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon and, the little known local grape, Tintilla de Rota, can produce awardwinning results.

Adopting the same model the family has also invested in a large estate close to the historic town of Toledo, an hour or so from Madrid. Finca Constancia is the result of painstaking investigation into the soils and terroir in this area, a single estate which produces some amazing wines from Spain and the world’s principle grape varieties. Here the family is at the forefront of making “parcela” wines; single varietal wines from small parcels of vineyard on the estate which produced the best results year after year, as in the highlyacclaimed “Parcela 23” Tempranillo.

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González Byass focuses heavily on the export business since the company would like as many people as possible to enjoy wines “Made in Spain”. 43% of production is shipped to more than 100 countries. The company also feels obliged to export its local wine culture, and therefore has turned their head office into an attraction for visitors. Every year, the cellar welcomes 250,000 visitors, making it one of the most visited estates in Europe. The company’s philosophy is that wine should be available to everyone.

In fact, little has changed in that regard since the company’s founder Manuel María González Ángel wrote in a letter in 1836: “I cannot think of a better business than making wine and to it I therefore dedicate my life.” Today his successors continue that tradition and are proud to be able to work with some of the best wines that Spain has to offer.

 

Information

Image removed.González Byass S.A.

c/Manuel Ma González, 12
11403 Jerez de la Frontera,
Cádiz/Spain

Tel.: +34 956357000
Fax: +34 956357061

www.gonzalezbyass.com

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