This has been the starting point of the round table called 'Winemaker by hobby' that Paz Ívison has directed at FENAVIN
Paz Ívison is one of the most highly loved people in the Spanish wine scene and a great connoisseur of Jerez Wines. In her introduction she has taken a tour of the history of the winemaker in Spain, from the times of the great winemaker families of Jerez, Rioja and Catalonia right over to the explosion that took place towards the end of the 20th Century and beginning of the 21st, with the emergence of 'signature wines', 'consulter wines' and winemakers 'in search of status'. The phrase with which Paz Ívison started the activity in particular refers to the latter: "Is someone powerful because they are a winemaker or do they become a winemaker because they are powerful?"
However, the four guests at the round table belong to quite a different species. They are not in search of fame, or money or power. They are simply passionate about wine. This is the case of Roberto Verino, fashion designer, who indeed needs no presentation, but who felt so identified with his land, the Galician region of Monterrei, and with its autochthonous grapes that he founded the winery 'Gargalo'. He defines himself as a vine grower -"I am a winemaker as a consequence of the vineyard"-, and he considers that, at any rate, the continent is more important than the content, "although ideally both aspects should have a common base and parallel development".
Emilio Valerio is Deputy Public Prosecutor of the Provincial Court of Madrid, although during many years he held the post of Minister of the Environment of the Community of Madrid. He is convinced that sustainable development and correct territorial planning depends on the promotion of small and medium-sized initiatives in the rural scope. This is the philosophy that impregnates his winery, 'Laderas de Montejurra' in Navarra. In reference to himself and his table colleagues, he affirms that "we are small companies, but we make good wines, or very good wines, and on top of that we are profitable". Valerio firmly believes in biodynamic agriculture, disputing the matter of these agricultural practices with another of the guests, Jesús Barquín.
Barquín (Director of the Andalusian Interuniversity Institute of Criminology of the University of Granada and Professor at the university) and founder and prominent member of the Navazos Team, a group that is passionate about Jerez, inspiring force behind the collection "La Bota de…". This collection is a series of limited editions of wines from 'botas' (wineskins) that have been selected from the best Andalusian wineries, which has obtained great recognition. Barquín has commented that "it was practically by chance that we started to look for and bottle great Jerez wines, for ourselves, for our friends and for people we were close to... but, above all, so that some of the great Andalusian vineyards that are in danger would not be lost".
Finally, Juan Palomar, internationally renowned urological surgeon, is the representative of the Bodega Buenavista that elaborates the Veleta range of wines, wines "that are practically Californian in concept", as he himself affirmed. His main reason to become a winemaker was the debt he felt to his hometown (Ugíjar, in the Granada Alpujarra), to return part of what he received during his childhood and to fight against the degradation of the rural environment and even against the possible disappearance of the village.