Bodegas Frontonio | Aragón
Bodegas Frontonio is the passionate project of three friends; Fernando Mora MW, oenologist Mario López and international business lawyer Francisco Latasa from Zaragoza. The winery is named after Saint Frontonio, the Patron Saint of the village. According to legend, Frontonio was beheaded by the Romans and his head found upstream after it had been thrown into the River Ebro. Coincidently, going against the current is at the heart of this project, hence the name Frontonio.
Lacking a DO status, Valdejalón is arguably the least well-known wine region in Aragón. Located at the centre of a triangle formed by Campo de Borja, Cariñena and Calatayud appellations, it comprises the area around the river Jalón and the wines are sold under the `vino de la tierra` designation.
Frontonio has emerged as one of the most refreshing wine ventures in Aragón, both in terms of recovering old vines and driving Garnacha`s renaissance in the area. The vineyards are found at over 400 meters high near Épila, on the left bank of the river Jalón, where clay-limestone soils prevail. The Premier and Grand Crus are further west, planted at 600-1000 meters on red slate soils and limestone. The founders also expertly purchase in fruit from local growers.
The winery is a 200-year old house with an underground cave (3 floors) which allow the team to leverage the effects of gravity to process the grapes as gently as possible, as well as benefitting from the naturally cool environment and its optimal humidity for wine ageing. After extensive renovations, the cellar can now process 70,000kg of grapes, and age almost 50,000 l. in variety of vessels: concrete, oak foudres and barrels up to 600 litres (demi-muid). Even though wine ageing was carried out there until 2017, the first vintage entirely produced in the new winery was accomplished in 2019 when they were able to vinify separately every parcel, a process which resulted in 45 different wines. Too many to manage, but provides the opportunity to practice the art of blending.