Trying to be ahead of the times. El Lagar de Isilla, one of the best hotels in Ribera del Duero
I have a deep admiration for Jose Zapatero, the owner of El Lagar de Isilla. His passion for his work, for work so many hours without thereby losing the enthusiasm and passion.
He told us not long ago the story of the transition from the old El Lagar de Isilla, in the pedestrian area of Aranda de Duero, to the winery they made in la Vid y Barrios, 12 miles from Aranda de Duero (which is 100 miles from Madrid).
He commented in a very funny way that the situation was awesome in the old Lagar, because more they sold, more they lost. So, they had to move. They were forced to build a new winery outside Aranda de Duero, a very pretty and efficient winery. And that is what they did.
You can watch the video (in Spanish) here. ( I apologize because the image is not good but what it is worth is José´s speech). I also apologize because the conversation is in Spanish. In very clear Spanish.
It looks as if José Zapatero had a magic wand by which business in which he gets in, business which becomes a success. But it is not that easy. The secret is to work a lot, to try to do things the best they can, to try to understand what is the name of the game, to try to anticipate changes to come.
The best way to visit this hotel and the whole Ribera del Duero is one our wine day tours to Ribera del Duero from Madrid
And on this delicate situation of crisis, he decides to invest an important amount of money in creating a thematic wine hotel of 10 rooms and a large restaurant as big as the one they have in Aranda de Duero.
I have been lucky to be at the opening. All the people who are somebody in Aranda de Duero have been in there.
There is a great atmosphere. Everybody is having fun. Some pictures of the facilities
I am amazed by the courage, boldness, and vision of José Zapatero to create such an attractive offer in so difficult times.
What profile of clients is he thinking when he makes this investment?. He has not told me but I can understand he finds a global competition and he bets for the good quality and taste and he knows he has to compete with the best wines and wineries in the world. He has his winery in one of the nearest places of Ribera del Duero wines to Madrid.
Let us remember that Ribera del Duero is considered one of the best wine regions of the world. So I can understand that El Lagar de Isilla is trying to be one of the best or even the best of one of the best regions of the wine world.
We go first to the cafeteria and restaurant zone. Now we are seeing plenty of people so the sensation should be different when conditioned for giving service to the clients of the restaurant. But you realize there is a cupula quite nice that allows natural light to get in. This is one of the thousand details you can find on the place
A luxury hotel for wine lovers. A star hotel.
And then we go to see the 23 rooms in the hotel. There are all different. They try to tell 10 different stories about the wine the same way as if you read a book with ten different chapters. And the first thing I feel is that I would like to spend at least one night in each, because each one gives you a different experience.
There is one dedicated to the Duero River, other to the god Bacchus, another to the light, another to the Cid Campeador, another one dedicated to the oak barrel, and at last maybe the most attractive to me that in which is reflected the caves of the original El Lagar de Isilla Winery in the pedestrian zone of Aranda de Duero. Some pictures of the Hotel and the Restaurant.
All these make me think that this is one of the best hotels in Ribera del Duero.
Are you a true wine lover? You can sleep in here inside a barrel of wine.
Everything has been done with a lot of care. That makes me think how much our surrounding influences on our emotions and on us. I am sure that even this post would be much different depending on if I wrote on any of the different rooms they have. (I wrote it at home).
After having visited all these rooms you feel that it is again José who tells us through these rooms the same story he told us 18 months ago in the video you can find at the front of this post. It is the same story but told some other way.
I think El Lagar de Isilla Winery made the best decision to move to the Vid y Barrios some years ago.
And I think again he is taking the right decision when he undertakes the expansion that he is now facing.
I have to tell you that I love nice stories.
Thank you José. The story that there is behind all this is very, very nice, and you tell your story wonderfully.
If you do not speak Spanish you are going to lose something when listening to José but you have an alternative. You can go to El Lagar de Isilla in La Vid y Barrios, near Aranda de Duero in Ribera del Duero and ask Jose Zapatero to tell his story.
By the way. You can enjoy a beautiful wine tasting on the winery, They have a broad alternative of options.
Best hotels of Ribera del Duero
Close to Aranda de Duero
Hotel La Casona in la Vid y Barrios The Hotel I was writing about
But depending on where you are those other hotels:
Close to Peñafiel
Close to Valbuena de Duero