La Mejorada Winery and Vineyards

A virtual tour of a winery located in a former 15th-century monastery, restored by the architect Rafael Moneo.

By Real Academia de Gastronomía

La Mejorada Winery (15 Century)Real Academia de Gastronomía

La Mejorada: Wineries and Vineyards

The wineries of La Mejorada and its vineyards are located in what was a former Hieronymite monastery in the town of Olmedo, in Valladolid. It's a place where beauty and history are combined. The architect Rafael Moneo and his family decided to rescue it in the year 2000, restoring it to its former splendor and reinstating the vines that had grown there in the past.

Founded in the 15th century by Ferdinand I of Aragon, the Monastery of La Mejorada was a mandatory meeting place in Castile during the 15th and 16th centuries, frequently visited by the Catholic Monarchs, Charles V, and Philip II.

Exterior view of the main winery buildings.

Sold following the Confiscation of Mendizábal, and abandoned by the Dominicans in 1984, Rafael Moneo and his family took on the task of restoring and converting it into a winery in 2000.

View from the old cloister.

They were undoubtedly drawn to the rich history of the monastery, but also to the idea of restoring the land for cultivating vineyards, just as it had been in the past.

View of the buildings from the tower.

The vines, mainly growing Tempranillo grapes but also other varieties such as Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Malbec, grow both inside and outside the monastery walls.

Vineyards seen from La Noria.

Reservoir.

The Mudejar Chapel, which has been a National Monument since 1931, is a notable example of the influence of Islamic culture on 15th-century Castile.

Exterior of the Mudejar Chapel.

This is the most iconic part of the entire site. Its floor plan, drawn by Moneo himself, is the brand's logo and features on all its products.

Interior of the Mudejar Chapel.

Interior of the Mudejar Chapel.

The hallway (in Spanish, "zaguán," a name derived from the Hispano-Arabic word "istawán"), is a covered, sheltered space located next to the door which opens onto the courtyard. It is a passageway and was not used as a room.

Hall leading to the Monastery.

Cloister of the Monastery.

Cloister of the Monastery.

The winery itself is located in what was the cloister. The layout of the building made it possible to set it up in the linear order required for the wine-making process.

Porch for receiving the grapes.

The southern part of the cloister is where the grapes are brought in, and where the wine-making vats are located.

Wine warehouse.

The barrels are located on the northern and western sides, and the bottled wines are stored on the eastern side.

Barrel room.

La Mejorada has been sympathetically restored, including the 17th-century "pilgrim's house."

Entrance to the pilgrim's house.

Pilgrim's Room.

Credits: Story

360º Image: Sinue Serra (www.sinueserra.com)

Acknowledgements: Rafael Moneo; Paloma Cendón Santiago of Mejorada Winery; Rafael Ansón, president of the Spanish Royal Academy of Gastronomy; Elena Rodríguez, director of the Spanish Royal Academy of Gastronomy; María García and Caroline Verhille, contributors to the Spanish Royal Academy of Gastronomy.

Spanish Royal Academy of Gastronomy

This exhibition is part of the Spanish Gastronomy project jointly coordinated by Google Arts & Culture and the Spanish Royal Academy of Gastronomy.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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