Jean Leon Joins Europvin's Wine Portfolio
New York, N.Y.—Europvin’s passion for luxury wines is a true testament to the added value that they continue to bring to their partners worldwide, since their origin in 1978. "For Europvin, it is a privilege that the Torres family has appointed us to distribute their prestigious Jean Leon brand of fine wine in the US market. This is very rewarding and a testament to the hard work of our team and the value that we bring to our clients in the US and the rest of the world. The addition of Torres to our product portfolio complements a wide range of historic wines from France and Spain (Vega Sicilia, Lustau, among others) which continues the mission of our origin and founder, since 1978,” states Pedro Lopez-Sors Alonso, CEO and Managing Director of Europvin.
As of July 1st, Europvin has incorporated the Jean Leon wines into their portfolio. The brands under the umbrella of the Torres family possess an unquestionable quality and prestige. Jean Leon wines represent a lifestyle and the e?pitome? of the American dream. ”We are extremely pleased to work with the Jean Leon team, headed by the incredibly talented Mireia Torres,” Europvin National Sales Director Matthew Green commented. “Jean Leon adds a layer of depth to the Europvin portfolio and is aligned with our strategy of working with families that share the same core values of integrity and quality. We are humbled and excited to begin this journey together with the Torres family.”
Jean Leon is the story of a visionary dreamer whose life was marked with adversity and triumphs. Born in Spain in 1928 as A?ngel Ceferino Carrio?n Madrazo, he continuously strived to leave the country and as a young immigrant, finally arrived in the US and was registered as Justo Ramo?n Leo?n. He officially changed his name later on to Jean Leon to find success, as this was the name of his favorite French painter and sculptor. He delved into the world of cinema, while working as a waiter at Frank Sinatra’s Villa Capri in Hollywood.
Leon’s first big project grew out of his friendship with James Dean, his close friend and his child’s godfather. Dean’s tragic death in 1955 put a halt on their plans to partner and open their first restaurant together. Leon carried on and opened the restaurant, La Scala, where many of Hollywood’s celebrities frequented. It quickly became the gathering spot for the era’s biggest stars, including Paul Newman, John F. Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe and more. In fact, Leon personally delivered Monroe’s favorite pasta dish to her house and was one of the last people to see her alive, as she passed away just hours after.
The business boomed, but Leon wanted more. He traveled back to Spain, and realized that he wanted to make wine that would better serve his select clientele. He bought 150 hectares in Penede?s, Catalonia’s leading appellation of origin and on November 15th, 1963, the Jean Leon winery was born. His winery began replacing local varieties with grapes that he brought in from prestigious French wineries. This was unprecedented and Jean Leon became the first Spanish wine to feature Cabernet Sauvignon as a primary variety. The winery continued to progress with the times and in 2008, they switched to organic farming. Since the 2012 vintage, all wines in the 3055 and Single Vineyard Wine range are labeled certified organic.
In 1994, Jean Leon was diagnosed with advanced laryngeal cancer and decided to entrust the Torres family with his legacy to ensure the continuity of his winery and maintain the unique personality, prestige and identity of the wines that bear his name.
The Torres family dedicates themselves to providing a wine that is memorable from the soil to the bottle. After five generations, the Torres family continues to innovate by creating more and more memorable experiences within their portfolio.
Jean Leon’s most prestigious, single vineyard wine is the iconic Vinya La Scala Cabernet Sauvignon Gran Reserva. Completely organic, this limited production Gran Reserva is only made in years with exceptional vintages. It has its origins in the Vinya La Scala vineyard, a small eight-hectare parcel planted in 1963. Considered the first Spanish wine made primarily from the Cabernet Sauvignon variety, Vinya La Scala was selected as the official wine for Ronald Reagan’s inauguration at the White House in 1981. Its name is a tribute to the restaurant Jean Leon opened in Beverly Hills during Hollywood’s Golden Age.
Each vintage features a creatively designed label by a different artist. The 2011 label was designed by artist Javier Mariscal and is titled “Sunset in Brooklyn”. It represents enjoying a glass of wine and a lovely sunset with a view of the impressive Brooklyn Bridge. The linear style complements the warm color palette that evokes the past, with the bridge that Jean Leon crossed countless times in the background. The 2012 label features painter Josep Moscardo?’s rendition of city life in Barcelona, recalling the time that Jean and his family lived there. The 2013 vintage will be released later in 2019.
Vinya Le Havre Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva is a tribute to the compassion of a stranger who changed Jean’s life forever when he was a stowaway on a boat headed to the US from the Port of Le Havre in France. These wines are also from single vineyard origin and certified organic.
Vinya Gigi Chardonnay is made with 100% Chardonnay grapes grown on the estate and named after Jean Leon’s daughter, Gigi. This wine honors Jean Leon’s own family and is unique because it is the first winery in Spain to ferment Chardonnay in new French oak barrels. This wine is also certified organic since the 2012 vintage.
The 3055 wines (Chardonnay, Rose? and Merlot/Petit Verdot) were created to showcase Jean Leon’s humble beginnings as a NYC taxi driver (3055 was his license number) showcasing a fresh, young, and bold character.
ABOUT EUROPVIN USA
Europvin was founded in 1978 by Christopher Cannan. The brand is internationally recognized for representing the finest, terroir-driven estates throughout Europe and more specifically in the US, from France, Spain, Italy and Hungary. Europvin is driven by the founding principle to bring the best of European winemaking to the world’s wine drinkers. For more information, visit www.europvin.com/