Juan Jesús Méndez, Enogastroturismo Prize of the University of La Laguna 2019

Juan Jesús Méndez Siverio, director of Bodegas Viñatigo, has been awarded the Enograstroturismo prize from the University of La Laguna. The award was given on Tuesday, November 19 at an event held in the Herrera municipality of La Frontera in the framework of the IV AgroEnoturismo Meeting of the Canary Islands.

The extensive work of Juan Jesús Méndez, who since the memory reaches has been defending at all cultural, business and institutional levels the enormous viticultural heritage that was hidden in our smallholder vineyards has motivated the jury’s decision that with these awards reward “the individual and / or collective work developed by natural or legal persons in the fields of viticulture, gastronomy and tourism ”in the Canary Islands.

As a result of this work carried out by Juan Jesús around the Viñátigo Winery project, which began in the late 1990s, it was possible to make known and dignify numerous varieties such as Gual, Marmajuelo, Vijariego, Tintilla, Baboso and Malvasía, along with others .

The jury of this Prize convened by the University of La Laguna through its Chair of Agrotourism and Wine Tourism of the Canary Islands has been integrated by Agustín Dorta, Carlos Fernández, Carlos Lozano, Clara Rodríguez, Cristina Bermúdez, Iván Hernández, José Luis González, María Dolores Delgado, Sibia García, Tomás Mesa, Zebina Hernández, and chaired by Gabriel Santos deputy director of the Chair. A total of 26 applications from Tenerife, Lanzarote, La Palma, and Pico Island in Azores concurred in this edition.

Together with Juan Jesús Méndez, the Casa del Vino de Tenerife restaurant and the Canarios de Campo y Mar television program were also awarded.

In the award ceremony, Juan Jesús thanked the Chair of Agrotourism and Wine Tourism and the University of La Laguna for this distinction that makes Bodegas Viñátigo and his person in recognition of the work of recovery and enhancement of the Canarian wine heritage. He also extended this thanks to the large number of people and institutions that have collaborated with the winery in this journey and without whose commitment and contributions, the Viñátigo Winery project would not have been able to reach the proposed goals, citing the entire Viñátigo team, to the oenologist Elena Batista, to the Oenological Station of Galicia (EVEGA), to the professor of Analytical Chemistry of the ULL Juan Pedro Pérez Trujillo, to the Aroma Laboratory of the Department of Analytical Chemistry of the University of Zaragoza, to the Professor of Viticulture of the University Polytechnic of Madrid José Ramón Lissarrague and finally also to the Rovira and Virgili University of Tarragona with the professors Fernando Zamora and Francesca Fort, with whom the winery has deepened in the oenological and genetic knowledge of our viticultural heritage.

The director of Bodegas Viñátigo, taking advantage of the fact that this awards ceremony was held in El Hierro, recalled the beginnings of the Tanajara project “which we developed on this island and in which Cayo Armas was very helpful in the initial stage in the recovery of varieties“.

In the words of Juan Jesús: “Throughout these years we have made great progress in the scientific knowledge of our wine heritage, knowledge that has allowed us to begin the recovery of the prestige of our wines, both in the domestic and foreign markets, on the way to that we wish to continue for many more years with the same enthusiasm and tenacity, confident in the richness and uniqueness that characterizes our viticulture.

The winner did not want to finish his speech without dedicating a few words to the new generation of the family winery expressing “the enormous expectations that are opened to us with the incorporation to the new generation Jorge and Celia Viñátigo project that arrive with great training and motivation, willing to continue contributing“.

Before the award ceremony, Juan Jesús’s own son, Jorge, addressed those present at a public intervention to tell his impressions and experiences around the Viñatigo Winery project and his father’s life path around the world of Came in Canaras.

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