Tradition and history

Involved in the world of wine since the 18th century

 

The winery’s history goes back more than two hundred years to the town of La Horra in the heart of the Ribera del Duero region.

 

In 1777 Abundio Balbás, the pioneer, began to use his own grapes to produce red wine for local consumption, which he transported and distributed in wineskins known as odres, which he made himself. The family continued to make and sell wineskins until the arrival of glass bottles.

 

The name of Balbás has been linked to wine for six generations and, today, it’s Abundio’s great-great-grandson, Juan José Balbás, who runs the company and is a key figure in the Ribera del Duero D.O. In fact, Bodegas Balbás was one of the pioneering wineries that helped to set up the appellation in 1982, which covers more than 300 wineries today. Juan José Balbás was president of the D.O. Regulatory Council from 1996 to 2000.

 

 

Juan José Balbás, a passion for wine

Juan José Balbás has been in contact with the winery and the business since he was a young boy, inheriting the knowledge gained by his grandfather Abundio and his father, Víctor, but he didn’t become a professional winemaker until the age of 26.

His maxim, passed down from his father, is that the most important thing is “the quality of the grapes and vines“. He therefore started to transform the family enterprise, adding innovation and technology to heritage and tradition because, as he says, “we all love horse-drawn carriages but travel much more comfortably by car“.

He can boast of handling Cabernet Sauvignon in a unique way.

“My father loved wine and he loved the countryside; he was affable and had an extraordinary way with people; a hard-working man.”

 

“We preserve the essence of the past but combine it with all the latest technological advances, making Balbás a classic benchmark in the Ribera del Duero; elegant, with great personality and wines that truly leave their mark.”

Clara de la Fuente, the other half

Juan José’s wife, Clara de la Fuente, plays a fundamental role in this transformation of the family business and, together, they’ve devoted over 20 years to the project. Their secret? “Resolve, single-mindedness, enthusiasm, hard work, effort and many hours of dedication“.  For Clara, the worst thing about their work is the “loneliness” of some of the decisions they have to make, which affect a large number of people. A responsibility she shares with a great team who’ve become a part of the Balbás family.

“You’re braver when you’re younger, perhaps because you’re not aware of the danger of a bad decision. Now, after so many sleepless nights, you reach an age when you’re calmer and less daunted by about all the responsibility you have, more composed”