Alejandro Fernandez and his wife Esperanza Rivera, having created Tinto Pesquera and Condado de Haza in their native Ribera del Duero, acquired the historic “La Granja” estate in 1998, which eventually saw the production of the Dehesa la Granja label. The 1800-acre ranch borders the Guarena River in the province of Zamora, which is in the heart of one of Spain’s earliest-recognized wine regions. From the 18th through the 19th centuries the estate had been a regionally-dominant producer of wine, evidenced by 40,000 square feet of cellars hand-carved by 125 laborers over 17 years. During that time the local wine producing area was known throughout Spain and Europe as Tierra del Vino (Land of Wine).
House and ranch compound were renovated and a modern winemaking facility was installed directly over the 18-century cellars that graced the estate. Alejandro rapidly set to work reconverting the estate to wine production, with 325 acres of old-clone Tempranillo from his vineyards in Ribero del Duero planted by late 2000. As with other Fernandez wines, the fully-extracted must undergoes malolactic fermentation in new oak, and a meticulous racking and aging program achieves natural clarification. The wines are bottled after two years in the barrel.