Jean Leon is a boutique winery founded in 1963 by Jean Leon, a visionary man who achieved his two biggest dreams: opening the most luxurious restaurant in Hollywood and creating an exclusive wine to delight his select clientele.
Owned by the Torres family since 1994, the winery was among the first to grow Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay in Spain and to obtain Single Vineyard Wine certification. As of the 2012 vintage, all of its wines are certified organic.
Dreamer. Visionary. Passionate. Charismatic. Nonconformist. A success story. That was Jean Leon, or rather Ceferino Carrión – the name he was given at birth. Originally from Santander, he had survived a tough childhood and decided to turn his life around.
So at the age of 19, he stowed away on a ship bound for the United States. After working as a New York cab driver for a while, he landed a job as a waiter at Villa Capri, a restaurant owned by Frank Sinatra and Joe DiMaggio. Here he met the biggest and brightest stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age.
Jean Leon’s first big dream came true in 1956 with the opening of La Scala. Along with the actor James Dean, who was a good friend of his, he established the most luxurious restaurant in Beverly Hills. It soon became a gathering spot for the most influential celebrities of the time, people like Marilyn Monroe, Paul Newman, Robert Wagner or JFK.
This was the era of the American Way of Life, a time when everything was possible, so Jean Leon decided to go after his second big dream: creating a wine that would bear his name and satisfy the expectations of his select clientele
Setting out to make the best wine, Jean Leon first needed to find the best place to do so. He found it in Catalonia, in the very heart of the Penedès. Once he had found it, he did something no one in Spain had ever done: he substituted local varieties for Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Chardonnay, thus becoming the first winery in the country to make wines from these French varieties.
Surrounded by 60 hectares of vineyards, the winery was founded in 1963 in the style of an authentic Bordeaux château. The winery was also among the first to introduce the concept of a Single Vineyard Wine. In fact, Jean Leon was the first winery in the Penedès and the second in all of Catalonia to obtain the Vi de Finca – or Single Vineyard Wine ¬– certification.
In keeping with its environmentally friendly philosophy, the winery has practiced organic farming since 2008. As of the 2012 vintage, all Jean Leon wines are certified organic by the CCPAE (the Catalonian Council for Organic Agriculture).