Rafael Moneo is one of the most recognised Spanish architects in the world. An academic at the Fine Arts School of San Fernando, he has received numerous distinctions, such as the Pritzker Prize in 1996 and the Prince of Asturias Award for the Arts in 2013. He has always shared his dedication to teaching with his practical profession. Chairman of the Architecture Department at Harvard University (1985 – 1990), he continues in his teaching activities, travelling to America every spring. Among his works are the Roman Art Museum in Mérida, the Kursaal of San Sebastian, the extension of the Prado Museum and Atocha train station in Madrid; and standing out among his works abroad are the Modern Art Museum of Stockholm, the Cathedral of Los Angeles and laboratories for Harvard, Princeton and Columbia university. Today, he is working on buildings in Berlin and Miami, and the new wineries of Álvaro Palacios in El Bierzo.
Born in 1937 in Tudela (Navarra), a region of robust wines, the construction of Logroño’s town hall in the ‘70s and ‘80s led him to become familiar with the wines of La Rioja. His interest in enology expanded when he built the winery of Chivite in Arínzano in the ‘90s. It was after this experience that he was encouraged to, with a few friends in the year 2000, set up his own winery in La Mejorada, which they found practically in ruins. Since then, the architect travels weekly to La Mejorada, located in the lands of Valladolid, to lead the restoration works of the monastic complex, in which the Mudejar chapel — whose floor plans have become the image of the winery — is by far the construction with the most value.
In 2008 the winery became property entirely of the architect Rafeal Moneo — who insisted on rescuing La Mejorada — keeping alive the most characteristic elements of its past and carefully elaborating wines that came from the vineyards planted around the walls of the monastery.
His effort can be seen in what La Mejorada has become today, an impressive setting, whose architectural ensemble is home to a winery where the quality of its wines pays justice to the history of the monastery.
Rafael Moneo, Álvaro Bernardo, Belén Feduchi, Paloma Cendón, José Ignacio Cabrera
Technical Agricultural Engineer and Agronomist Engineer from Valladolid University, he also holds a title in Management of Agrarian Businesses and various internships in France that have completed his extended academic career.
His work experience in the world of wine began with a job as Assistant Controller of the Regulating Council of the Denomination of Origin Ribera del Duero during the grape harvest campaigns. Prior to this he worked in a coop winery in Cigales, as Quality Controller, until he decided to move to France to broaden his skills in the areas of cultivating vines and production, working in the winery of Armagnac Domaine de Paiot. In 2003 he joined Wineries and Vineyards La Mejorada where he now works as Technical Director of the winery.
Has a degree in Enology from Bordeaux University.
He has worked for different wineries all over the world such as Gallo in the United States, Penfolds in Australia, Montana in New Zealand, CVNE in Spain and Château La Fauconnerie in Saint Emilion, France.
He has also worked as Director of Fermentation for Château de Taillefer in Pomerol and Technical Director of SARCO, a Bordeaux company dedicated to the investigation and development of enological techniques.
Today, he works as a consultant for wineries worldwide, in countries such as South Africa, Turkey, Italy and Greece.