Iván, Ana, José, Silvia...
our love affair with the culture of wine
Winery, winemaking, winegrowing... all for the sake of ethical wine
They say when someone dedicates himself to something he loves, that person will never work another day in his life.
This describes us perfectly!
I am Iván Gómez Marcos, the person in charge of this beautiful and always exciting madness at Bodegas Gratias, ... I am the link between the entire Gratias family and the wine itself, along with the vineyard and the Manchuela region.
Having always been close to the grapes, I was the one who infected Ana with the love of wine during those years at the university, and I was the one who encouraged her to study Enology after finishing her agricultural studies. Then Ana was soon followed close behind by José Armando, as the good brother that he is. By then Silvia was lost, whether she knew it or not. She was already surrounded by all of us wine nuts, so things could not have ended up in any other way ... and after 10 years we found ourselves winemakers, because as I was told one day by a great ex-boss of mine, once you are bitten by the wine bug you are lost and will never recover ...
More about Ivan...
I still remember the first oenological trip we four made to Somontano in 2004 with what was then the new car of José, a Ford Mondeo that is now our field vehicle. Without knowing it at the time, that trip bonded us in a way of life and of wine that has brought us to this day.
My story is like that of many children of the 80s. I am the son of two immigrants who had to go and look for a new life in Switzerland: my Galician mother, from the Ribera Sacra, and my father from La Mancha, specifically from Manchuela. My parents met and got married there, in a small town in the French part of the country, but upon deciding to start a family they realized they wanted to return to Spain. As they could not agree on where to live (each wanted to return to his or her own land), they decided to come to Valencia, only because they had once traveled there for a vacation and liked it. But my mother was at a disadvantage in this respect, because Alborea, my father's home town, is barely 100 km away from the city. And so our destination for weekends, for summer holidays and Christmas was always Alborea..
That place was here, in my own village, where the vineyard and the wine have always accompanied me and still do today. In my house I always drink a glass of wine with food. My mother enjoyed rosado and my father red, but I, like a good wine lover, tossed back everything ... that's why when I had to choose a career, I chose Agronomy, because I liked the field, but also because while studying I could work the vineyards as a day laborer to earn some 'perrillas'... besides helping my father in my grandfather's vineyard since around the time I learned to walk.
Then in 2001 everything changed. I was in 3rd-year Agronomy when the village cooperative offered me work during the winery's harvest, to which I said yes. They paid me more if it rained. I never got wet, but I could not have known how bad that wine bug would bite me. I worked as a cellar worker for three months. In my life I had cleaned many tank deposits, but Juan (the winemaker at Coop San Isidro) quickly taught me how to take away large batches of solid residues. He also gave me some wines to taste, and he explained the basic winemaking principles: like fermentation, pump-over and lees racking. From here there was no turning back. Wine has been my life, and I have dragged everyone near me toward wine as well.
Then came the great Pepe Mendoza y Cia, the overseas vintages (Chile, Argentina, New Zealand ...) and the wonderful years in Moixent, in Celler del Roure...all of which were the final steps that led me to Bodegas Gratias, along with our consulting company, Enological TresGe Wine Consulting. In all these years I have met a great people (many of them are mentioned on the Maximas label), and I have learned many things. I have developed from an oenologist and agronomist into winegrower and winemaker: from more technical and rigorous approaches into a more intuitive, natural style, which is how I make wine today..
Thank you to the world for giving me this opportunity to work with my family in something like wine that I love so much. As someone said: dedicate yourself to something you love and you'll never have to work again. This is a great description of who we are...
What once started as just a hobby has become my profession, and with every day that passes, my passion..
Wine has become such a large part of my life that I can no longer imagine doing anything else, because it would not be this life I have now. The peace and harmony of being in the vineyard, the passion of making wine, the satisfaction of sharing it with others and seeing how much they enjoy what we have created, these things make all the hours, the efforts and the sacrifices worthwhile. For me there is nothing that lifts my spirits more than to provide enjoyment for the people who drink our Gratias wines.
More about Ana
Bodegas Gratias is a constant challenge. A project like this can only be imagined with the support and help of family, as well as through the deep conviction that we are doing something very large and very positive. Our vision goes much further than simply the commercial level of things. Personally, I am convinced that we are doing something with global implications, something that transcends the people involved and will become a legacy for both present and future generations. By valuing our vitivinicultural heritage, we make it possible for others to value it as well: something meaningful that everyone can enjoy.
"Earth does not belong to man, man belongs to Earth.".
At the time José, Ana and Iván were pursuing their Oenology studies, I was in Beijing running an Acupuncture practice. I had finished the Bach professional therapist training and was on a journey of discovery following the Astrology and Reiki masters. Around that time nothing would have made me imagine that only a few years later our various paths would all merge. When I finished my Agricultural Engineering career and began to find work, life put me in a place I can certainly now call "magical."A place where everything I had considered important and a part of my core foundation was to become undone. A new person emerged and a new perspective grew in me, while on many levels what had before been so important simply ceased to be.
More about Silvia
Thus began a process of personal awareness that has a way of turning you round like a sock. It comes with no warning, it simply happens; and the best (and only) thing you can do throughout the process is to simply let go. But I did not learn that until later. :)
When the team proposed that I participate in the Gratias project in a more visible way, I could not really visualize what my role might be. As a therapist in transpersonal psychology, my professional-vocational work was already being channeled into helping other people in their consciousness processes, conflict management and personal conscious development, without forgetting I was a mother as well. Somehow the internal question arose: why not bring what I was learning to this entire project ? So, we started experimenting with the flowers of Dr. Bach, doing dynamisation, radiesthesia, and applying astrology. And of course, we worked in groups on our personalities, with the aim of placing our individual talents in the service of something more important that could emerge, while, at the same time, we worked to transform our weaknesses into opportunities for self-knowledge. Wine is a living being. It is alchemy. Magically, everything came together and made me fall in love with ... Gratias.
I said YES from the joy, the excitement, the sense of conscience and personal ethics related to being in a project that takes care of the Earth, the vineyards, and all the people who participate. A project full of Love and among the best company I could imagine, my family.