Raúl Pérez is from the Bierzo region in the north-western corner of Castilla y Leon. As his family founded the Castro Ventosa winery in 1752, you could say that wine is in his DNA. Raúl started off working for the family business, but in 2003 launched his own wine project in Bierzo, Bodegas y Viñedos Raúl Pérez, under the name of Ultreia, which means “we go further” in Latin, and is the greeting used by pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago for centuries. Raúl is considered to be one of the globe's most visionary winemakers and continues to influence the new generation of Spain's winemakers. He has amassed more than 200 labels on the Wine Advocate list compiled by the esteemed wine critic Robert Parker. He has been named Winemaker of the Year in 2104 by Der Feinschmecker, Best Winemaker in the World in 2015 by Bettane+Desseauve and in 2019 an article in Decanter Magazine's February issue asked “Is Raúl Pérez the world's best winemaker?”
Raúl farms organically and uses fruit from his own vineyards and others, working with many specific fragmented vineyard plots in Bierzo. His priority is in fact the vineyards and not the winery, focusing on producing unadulterated wines from grapes that inspire him. Raúl values old vines and has a predilection for native grape varieties. He has the utmost respect for the soils, always looking for the wine's identity. Raúl is involved in numerous ventures, not just in Bierzo with La Vizcaína, and Bodegas Estefania (Tilenus brand) but also in Rías Baixas (Sketch wine), Ribeira Sacra (El Pecado wine) and Monterrei, and in Portugal with Dirk Niepport and South Africa with Eben Sadie. He is always innovating, trying new ideas, and collaborating on exciting projects. His personal style of winemaking has an exclusive stamp, passionately handcrafted with unique personalities – these wines have soul! Raúl Pérez sports the most astonishing beard; he looks like a wizard, in fact he is affectionately known as the “Wine Wizard”, and his emblematic wines are just as astonishing and magical!