Jean Leon Winery Guide
Nestled in Spain’s enchanting Mediterranean Wine Region of Penedès, the Jean Leon winery boasts a captivating story akin to a Hollywood film. Born Ceferino Carrión in Santander, Spain, in 1928, Jean León possessed unwavering ambition. At 19, he embarked on a journey to Paris, New York, and eventually Hollywood, where he co-founded the renowned California restaurant “La Scala” in Beverly Hills alongside James Dean—an aspect often unknown to many. The establishment swiftly became a popular haunt for esteemed actors and performers.
Despite his remarkable success in America, Jean Leon longed for his native Spain. So, in 1963, leveraging his renowned name and reputation in the gastronomic and enological circles of the United States, he returned to Spain with a grand vision of establishing a world-class winery. His venture was one of the first to champion the pioneering concept of a “single vineyard estate,” a notion unheard of during the Franco era and religious cooperatives. This groundbreaking approach, known as “Pago,” remains atypical in Spain. Additionally, Jean Leon defied convention by importing French grape varietals such as Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc, as he believed they harmonized exquisitely with the Mediterranean climate.
Jean Leon and Ronald Reagan developed a close friendship during their time in Hollywood. In a lighthearted exchange, Reagan, a Republican, playfully suggested to Jean Leon, a Democrat, that if he voted for him in the upcoming election and Reagan became president, he would feature Jean Leon’s wine at his inauguration. Jean Leon prioritized their friendship over politics and cast his vote for Reagan. True to his word, on January 20th, 1981, Ronald Reagan fulfilled his promise. The prestigious Vinya La Scala Cabernet Sauvignon Gran Reserva 1975 and Vinya Gigi Chardonnay 1980, produced by Jean Leon, were selected as the official wines for Reagan’s inaugural dinner at the White House. This event marked a significant moment in their friendship and demonstrated the power of camaraderie transcending political affiliations.
After receiving a diagnosis of advanced laryngeal cancer in 1994, Jean Leon faced interest from several American businesspeople looking to acquire his winery. However, he declined their offers and chose to pass on his legacy to the Torres family. This decision was driven by his desire to secure the ongoing existence of his winery while preserving the distinct character and identity of the wines that proudly carry his name. By entrusting the Torres family, Leon sought to continue his vision and maintain the legacy he had built throughout his winemaking journey.
Jean Leon Petit Chardonnay100% Chardonnay, 2 months in oak barrique, 13% alc.
Jean Leon Vinya GigiCask-Fermented Chardonnay, 100% Chardonnay, 6 months in oak barrique, 14% alc.
Jean Leon Vinya PalauMerlot Crianza, 100% Merlot, 12 months in French oak, 13,5% alc.
Jean Leon Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc, 24 months in French and American oak, 14% alc.
Terrasola Muscat-Garnacha blancaBlend of Muscat and Garnacha blanca (Grenache blanc), 11% alc.
Terrasola Sauvignon blanc-Garnacha blancaBlend of Sauvignon Blanc and Garnacha blanca, 12% alc.
Terrasola Chardonnay-Garnacha blancaBlend of Chardonnay and Garnacha blanca, 13% alc.
Terrasola Tempranillo Young wineBlend of Tempranillo and Monastrell (Mourvèdre), 13,5% alc.
Terrasola Syrah-Garnacha Young wineBlend of Syrah and Garnacha (Grenache), 14% alc.
Facts & Figures
Area under Vine
Age of vines
25 years+, Guyot and Cordon Royat Pruning
Oak barrel origin
French and American
Miguel Torres Family
Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Syrah
Grape Varieties Used by the Winery
Chardonnay is a green-skinned grape varietal native to the Burgundy wine region in France and one of the most popular varieties worldwide.Find out more
Cabernet Franc grape is a close relative of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon and is the principal blending grape used in Bordeaux.Find out more
Discover the irresistible allure of Cabernet Sauvignon—a worldwide favorite with robust, dark-bodied flavor. Unleash your wine journey today!Find out more
Merlot is the most cultivated grape in Bordeaux and closely related to Cabernet FrancFind out more
Syrah is dark-skinned and perhaps the most underrated of the 'noble' red grape varieties.Find out more
Explore Penedès: Birthplace of Cava, exceptional wines, iconic brands, sustainability. Plan your wine adventure! Read more
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