Meeting Emmanuel Ivars, our winemaker

Emmanuel Ivars joined the Ferratus team as a technical director a year ago. He was born in the Loire Valley (France). There and in the Burgundy region, he studied viticulture and oenology and in 1992 he settled in Ribera del Duero, where he worked as a winemaker and technical advisor in different wineries and denominations in Castilla y León.


It has its own style of making wine “from the terroir and the meticulous work of the vineyard, I seek to highlight the typicality and aging capacity of the tempranillo”.

Emmanuel consider FERRATUS wines “aromatically very expressive. His elegance is undoubted, and his palate is full of strength and personality. FERRATUS AØ is a medium-range wine, which is evolving beautifully the first 5 years of his life. However, FERRATUS and FERRATUS Sensations, are wines with a much longer evolution capacity. The important challenge is to make them pleasant in 3 or 4 years, but can continue to improve in the bottle for more than 10 years.”

He has plans for our wines and together we walk in this project: “I want the wines of Jiménez Caves to have a magnificent harmony; from its deep color, associated with a wonderful raw material, silky tannins, exquisite freshness and an intense fruity expression. We work a lot from the field, respecting the terroir, pampering the fruit in our cellar, selecting the noblest woods of my country. I think that the combination of tradition with avant-garde oenology is essential to make FERRATUS something different and unforgettable for the lover of great wines. ”


Best of our vineyard in Ribera del Duero

A great wine begins in the vineyard, so we take care of our land to the fullest and treat the fruit, Tempranillo, with special care. All this to make our soil the best of itself.


We have 20 hectares of vines, some of them over 60 years old, grow on different types of soil, many of them on the hillside and at an altitude of over 860 metres. They grow on different carefully chosen estates in the Ribera del Duero area, including La Horra, Quintana del Pidio, Quemada, Gumiel de Izán, Moradillo de Roa and San Juan del Monte, to provide Ferratus with the best Tempranillo grape.

Our vineyards are strengthened by the extreme climate of this land, and the vineyard always surprises us in every harvest.


The wine harvest is much more than romanticism

To be honest, I’ve no spare time left during the wine harvest, and even less to keep track of the social media. But the little I’ve seen has shown me a fanciful picture of the harvest:  The sun setting or rising over picturesque vineyards, boxes of freshly picked grapes without a leaf in sight, seasonal workers grinning at the camera and proud winemakers, all in spotless clothes, myself included, and drinking a toast among the vines. In other words, such a romantic and bucolic scene.

I’m not saying that this isn’t all true, but there is so much more to it.

The wine harvest is really crazy, completely crazy. I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that you’ll hear God’s name more times during these days than at any other time of the year. I don’t mean to offend anyone with this. I’m merely telling you about my experience as a winemaker on days when I end up both exhausted and grateful in equal measure.

For the rest of the year, our trust is placed on the winegrower and in this area, our job as wine producers is to keep it under control. But we also have to take care of many other tasks: trips from one end of the world to another, with a bag full of stories and wine to share with good wine lovers; planning investments and improvements for the winery; coming up with new brand and marketing ideas to help sell our wines… In short, activities that will help us to improve and gain a good position in the extremely competitive wine market. This is our day-to-day job until the end of August when we’ve got our boots back on the ground and an eye on the sky.

“When will the wine harvest start this year? “When will the wine harvest end this year? The same questions and answers year after year and they are key to our future but never depend on us. Because the best quality of the grape at harvest will be down to the weather, to the sky, to something that is completely beyond our control. And there is little, in fact nothing, that we can do to get the weather on our side: it’s completely out of our hands.

After 11 days of harvest I’m so exhausted that I’ll even consider passing on my job to someone else, but then I imagine someone somewhere in the world enjoying a glass of FERRATUS: it doesn’t lessen the exhaustion in any way, but it does give me a boost to keep going and it makes me happy.

María Luisa Cuevas


Which wines win over women?

As a woman, winery owner, taster, buyer and lover of great wines, I am often faced with the question “Which wines do women like?” Although at first sight it might seem slightly sexist, it’s actually a question that gives us a lot to think about. Because, although there is no accounting for taste, we women feel differently about wines from men, which means we don’t choose them the same way.

Women have driven a change in the wine industry which, until 15 or 20 years ago, was considered rigidly classical and even, if I may say so, rather dull. Those were years when it was largely focused on men as consumers and connoisseurs. The big brands were in charge and the others could do little about it. However, the industry has evolved, with the emergence of new wines that are rich in all senses of the word, and new consumers, including women. We made a silent revolution bringing us to the attention of winery owners, sommeliers, recommenders and the media.

But what makes us different from men when it comes to wine?

The main difference is the way we choose it: men normally buy by brand, tradition and price to guarantee success; women take advice, and we don’t stop asking questions until we are sure we’ve found what we’re looking for, whether it’s for a present, an event or a dinner at home. We find a wine for every occasion.

Wine has become an important complement for all social, business or family get-togethers, and a woman chooses it with the same care as she takes care of the details of a well-dressed table, the seating arrangements or the menu she is going to prepare.

There is also the surprise factor that we find so attractive. Even at the risk of failure, we prefer innovation to “getting it right” in a dull, classical way. We like to create conversation based on wine and, although we are new to the technical terms associated with tasting, we fill the gaps in our knowledge with language more concerned with feelings. This might appear on an unusual back label, or in the story behind a winery or a wine. There are plenty of those, and, after a little investigation and discovery, we like to tell them.

Ultimately, a glass of wine in a woman’s hand awakens all her senses, and arouses her most feminine, sophisticated, sentimental, passionate and interesting side. Mind you, each of us has her own taste and not everything is right for all of us.

By María Luisa Cuevas, Managing Director of Bodegas FERRATUS


92 points for FERRATUS 2010 in the Magazine Wine & Spirits

It isn’t the blind love of the winemaker, but I do have great confidence in my wines. But when an expert like the Chilean Patricio Tapia, taster of Spanish wines for Wine & Spirits magazine, tastes our FERRATUS and places them among the 20 best Ribera del Duero wines, and number 1 for value for money, I feel even prouder to have demanded they should be among the best.

In its June issue, the prestigious American magazine Wines & Spirits publishes the results of the best Ribera del Duero wines of the year: 92 points for FERRATUS 2010 and 91 for FERRATUS Sensaciones 2009.


ferratus 2010


FERRATUS AØ, Diamond in the Wine and Women awards

The Spanish School of Wine-Tasting in Madrid recently hosted the final tasting in the Wine and Women competition. The competition highlights wines made by women with a jury formed by 20 top, internationally recognised experts.

FERRATUS AØ 2015 has received the Diamond Award this year. The recognition is shared equally between the young FERRATUS AØ and the founder of the Cuevas Jiménez winery, María Luisa Cuevas. This woman from Aranda, who had no tradition in winemaking except for the by-no-means-irrelevant fact of having been born in Ribera del Duero, decided to begin her own winery in 2003, as if moved by destiny. Today, above all, she loves her wines and her work and deserves this Diamond Award.


We would like to thank the organisers of the awards and the jury for the recognition and encouragement that helps make it possible for women to occupy the place they deserve as professional winemakers, sommeliers and vine-growers in the wine sector.


FERRATUS consolidates its “Parker points”

Last December, the Ribera del Duero Regulation Council welcomed Luis Gutiérrez, Robert Parker’s right-hand man in Spain, on his annual visit to our region.

Gutiérrez tasted exceptional wines from this designation, which he had previously selected, including the latest vintages of three of our four FERRATUS.

We have recently found out the results, published by the American magazine The Wine Advocate, and all our wines have broken the 90-point barrier. FERRATUS 2011 (90 points), FERRATUS Sensaciones 2010 (91 points) and FERRATUS Sensaciones Décimo 2005 (92 points), which consolidates the results received in previous editions. We know Gutiérrez values wines in which he can recognise their origin and which transmit balance and character, and we are proud of his endorsement.

We welcome these scores from Luis Gutiérrez as a reward for our efforts at continuous improvement, maintaining our essence. This begins with the selection of the vineyards and the best fruit, and an exhaustive interest in safeguarding the quality parameters in making our wines.


New year, new journeys with FERRATUS

We are confident 2017 will be a great year, and we hope it turns out that way for all our followers. We are starting a new year and starting to travel the world once again. In 2017, we will be journeying all over our beloved Spain, as well as to Mexico, Switzerland, Germany, the United Kingdom, Denmark and the USA, where we will present our new FERRATUS vintages with pride. They are already picking up good scores and we hope they continue to receive even better ones wherever they go.

FERRATUS Sensaciones 2009, an explosion of forest fruits, blueberries and violets, with notes of chocolate and tobacco from its time in the barrel: pure stimulus.  It can hold its head high, as it has 91 points from “The Wine Advocate” magazine and 88 from “Wine Enthusiast”, while receiving 93 and 94 points in the Peñín and ABC 2017 guides respectively.

FERRATUS 2010, with an intense red colour and red and black fruit aromas. The always subtle wood offers notes of tobacco and chocolate and gives the wine great complexity. It is a wine with character which has already picked up 90 points from Robert Parker’s prestigious “The Wine Advocate” magazine; 86 points from “Wine Enthusiast” and 93 points in the Peñín and ABC 2017 guides.

FERRATUS AØ 2015, the youngster of the dynasty. Its picota cherry colour with plenty of violet shades transmits life and energy which, together with the notes and complexity of its aging in wood, make it a rounded, contemporary, cutting-edge wine which has already earned 89 points from the Peñín 2017 Guide.

In the countries we are visiting in 2017 we will be collecting pleasant experiences and good friends, and, if you don’t mind, we will be telling you about them here.


Three different shades of Ribera del Duero by Jeff Burrows

“Early this summer I received an offer to evaluate wines from Ferratus in the Ribera del Duero region of Spain. Its a region I’m interested in exploring, so I jumped at the chance, and a few days later, three different wines arrived in the mail.  All are the same Ribera del Duero DO (similar to AOC in France, or DOC in Italy), and all are 100% Tempranillo, but the included notes indicated three different wines. Comparo time!”

Three Different Shades of Ribera del Duero – Ferratus Winery



Women and wine brought together in Switzerland

In February I promised I’d be back and, barely three months later, I’m here again, in wonderful green Switzerland to take part in two lovely events:

On Thursday, 2 June, the USM luxury furniture company is bringing together 100 professional women for a round table led by the television personality Susanne Wille and including businesswomen representing the Swiss economy. I will be joining them as they explain their experiences. I will try to approach and involve all those attending through my passion for the world of wine.

On Friday 3 June, at La passion du vin, we will hold a FERRATUS wine tasting among friends.

María Luisa Cuevas