I was born in Bouzas, Vigo on the 16th of July, 1935, the day of the patron saint of sailors, the day dedicated to the Virgen del Carmen. My parents, Mariano Peláez Muñoz, Palencian vineyard owner, and Ángeles Lomana Redondo, a confectioner from Burgos, left their native land of Palencia in search of a better life before settling in Bouzas, Vigo. There they made a family and a business, a wine tavern and a corner shop.

At 10 years of age, my mother saw to it that I would accompany my father to purchase wine that would later be sold and sent off to the business. At 12, I was matriculated into business school. I was not a great student, nor a bad one. By 16 I had decided that I wanted to work. I suggested to my father that I could work at the tavern and corner shop simultaneously while also studying at business school. He responded, “oh, you wish to work with me?”, and subsequently removed his khaki colored smock and placed it on me, then did the same with a pencil over his ear, before asking me, “do you know how to multiply?”, to which I responded with a firm yes before beginning to recite multiplication tables. My father answered: “That doesn’t count, son. It’s not enough to multiply numbers. You have to know how to multiply the business”.

Thus began my part in the family business, which, little by little through the 1970s began to specialize in the supply of delicatessen products as Bouzas was becoming the residential neighborhood for Vigo’s new ship operators.

At the time I thought about opening more shops of this kind in Vigo’s main neighborhoods, but the grape and the wine had won me over already.

In 1968 I founded Bodegas Marqués de Vizhoja, and in 1968 I received my first award, the Hoja de Parra Award (Grape Leaf Award). The year 1968 saw the birth of my first wine, Marqués de Vizhoja, the wine that won the Hoja de Parra. A quality, entrepreneurial wine, a loyal reflection of authentic flavor, a wine that tasted of grape. Five years later, in 1976, I bought the Finca La Moreira, an extension of 120,000 square meters, and a plantation 10,000 square meters in size, the rest being mountain and garden surface. In the chapel at the Pazo of the Finca La Moreira, I found an image of the Virgen del Carmen. It was then that I realized my luck and future lied there.

We began work on adapting the Arbo vineyards. We created professional vineyards using an automated plantation, grafting grapevines and using the W shape. We were pioneers of this plantation method. In 1988 we managed to create the Regulatory Council for the Designation of Origin, Rias Baixas. The first vintage controlled by the D.O. Rías Baixas came out, which at that time only had 14 bodegas, and the B.O.E. picks up the Name Rias Baixas. On that same date, we managed to bring a 100% Albariño wine and our Señor da Folla Verde to the market in Rias Baixas, Torre La Moreira, which consisted of 70% Albariño grape, 15% Treixadura grape and 15% Loureira grape.

The third wine from Bodega Marqués de Vizhoja would continue its path as a signature wine without D.O. In 2009, I served as honorable president of the business group Marqués de Vizhoja S.L., leading and directing in maintaining Bodegas as a new business selling liqueurs and distillates that we set up, Gotas del Marqués.

Mariano Peláez Lomana

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