The story of the Moro family began in 1932 when Emilio Moro Sr. was born. It is now a project carried out by three generations with roots in the Ribera del Duero, who have spent their lives discovering the characteristics of its terroir. The goal? To produce intense and unique wines.
Bodegas Emilio Moro, a benchmark of the longest-standing cellars of Ribera del Duero wines and traditions in Spain, was immortalized in the “Big Apple” through the art of renowned artist Domingo Zapata, who personally selected a variety of wine bottles to be captured on the exterior walls of One Times Square.
After 20 years of a successful career, Artist Domingo Zapata gives a beautiful tribute to Spanish culture through his own experience and retrospective. A variety of emblematic bottles of Bodegas Emilio Moro were chosen for playing an important role in his life. For as long as he can remember, Domingo fell in love with these wines and wanted to pay tribute to the winery and its Spanish traditions.
José Moro, president of Bodegas Emilio Moro, who was recently named as one of the 100 most creative entrepreneurs by Forbes Spain Magazine, was invited to be part of this artistic piece. The astounding mural captures his love of wine and art. José Moro’s vision was to let the world know about his wines. Today his vision has come to the forefront of New York City, right in the heart of Times Square for all the world to admire and ponder.
This monumental mural is 300 feet high, encompassing 30,000 square feet, which is the largest artwork in New York City. The piece will remain on display at One Times Square till Dec 2019. Be sure to stop by and take a look at this marvelous masterpiece.
I had an opportunity to meet José Moro during the unveiling and get a few heartfelt words from one of the most respected and admired winemaker from Ribera Del Duero. José opens up in an emotional and poetic manner about wine, art, family, traditions, technology, and his childhood.
Me: How long have you been making wines?
José Moro: “We can say that I have been dedicating myself to this since I was born. I was lucky to start loving winemaking from my childhood and that is the true university education I received from my father, to be able to make great wines. I used to go to the vineyards sitting in a huge harvest basket, frozen and soaked with grape juice.”
Me: What winemaking experiences from your father do you remember most? What traditions do you still carry forward today?
Moro: “I still get goosebumps during each vintage, the sights and smells take me back to my childhood and I remember when I would go with my father to harvest or when I had to clean the large wooden fermentation barrel. The opening was so small, that only a child could enter with a brush and a candle and clean it. With these experiences, you continue to learn. My father taught me that there are times that you have to make important decisions and take them to the end, but the most important thing that left me was the greatness of working on something that awakens me with more passion every day. I continue and will continue to preserve some of their expressions and their way of tasting our wines.”
Me: What is it about your terroir and soils that make your wines so special and unique?
Moro: “The Denomination of Origin Ribera del Duero is one of the most important and recognized wine regions, whose climatic conditions and special location, produces some of the best-quality wines in Spain. The specific climatic conditions that characterize the grape cultivation in the Ribera del Duero have a great influence on the grape growing cycle. The quality of the wines obtained depends, to a large extent, on these special conditions, not forgetting the diversity of soils that bring different nuances to our wines. The limestone soils give ELEGANCE AND COMPLEXITY, the clay soils give STRUCTURE AND CHARACTER and finally, the stony soils give MATURITY AND SWEETNESS.”
Me: You have your own clonal Tempranillo. Tell us about your clonal selections and your unique Tempranillo?
Moro: “During the last century in Pesquera de Duero many vineyards were uprooted, but due to my grandfather’s passion for the vines, our vineyards were saved. In this way, we have preserved the purest clone of Tempranillo, also called Tinto Fino. During the last ten years, we have signed collaboration agreements with the University of León to obtain this pure clone, free of viruses and pathogens. We have carefully selected this clone and then grafted into all our vineyards. In this way, we produce smaller grapes and looser clusters that are necessary to produce robust and quality wines.”
Me: What do you attribute to the growth and success of Bodegas Emilio Moro?
Moro: “Today the consumer of quality wines appreciates in a very positive way that behind a quality wine there are other benefits that add value to the brand. In Emilio Moro, this added value has four fundamental pillars on which the winery’s philosophy is built: Tradition, Innovation, Social Responsibility, and passion. Our passion is felt in our desire to excel, in our nonconformity, our demand in the pursuit of excellence in everything we do. This leads us to test our limits and capabilities to always give our best and our wines.”
Me: Ribera Del Duero is an area rich in tradition and history. What part tradition and what part modernity is involved in your winemaking?
Moro; “To have a large winery we believe it is necessary to establish a perfect balance between tradition and innovation.”
“I believe that values such as family TRADITION of generations dedicated to vineyards and wines are essential, that is, a story that guarantees the quality of the brand. Since a brand is nothing without a story behind it. That is why we must know how to transmit that story through the wines.”
“Although tradition is very important for Bodegas Emilio Moro, we should not put aside the TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION to support the production of high-quality wines. We dedicate a large amount of human and economic resources to the development and implementation of research programs. Our latest Vodafone Sensing4Farming project has gone around the world, this project allows monitoring vineyard variables using satellite images to generate indexes that allow the vineyard control and management efficiently and sustainably. All the information obtained (such as vigor, health, air temperature, relative humidity, dew point temperature, solar radiation, and wind speed, among others …) allows us to have a complete vision to manage the vineyard and make decisions based on data.”
Me: It is wonderful meeting you and seeing the artwork unveiled in Times Square. How did this partnership/inspiration begin with you and Domingo Zapata?
Moro: “Thank you very much, for me it is also a pleasure.”
“I am a good friend of the artist, Domingo Zapata, since Emilio Moro was always his favorite wine. The opportunity for Domingo to exhibit his art in Times Square came through a friend of his who is very fond of him and thus achieve one of his dreams in his life, expose his art in such an emblematic place as Times Square, and show there, the things he loved most about culture in Spain, such as wine, music, fashion, flamenco … Among many other things.”
“Domingo told me that he wanted to have our wines in the picture on the condition that once he was finished, I would travel to New York to sign the artwork personally. It was an opportunity that I could not miss and that is the reason why Emilio Moro wines are represented there. It is a real pride to be in the heart of New York in view of millions of people representing Spanish wines.”
Me: How did it feel to see your bottle on display in such a gigantic and artistic way in Times Square?
Moro: “I have no words. I stayed for a while looking at the sky, towards the mural. I felt pride and freedom. I felt that our passion was perfectly represented up there. I think it’s wonderful to have united art with our wines in that way. Domingo is an artist that creates emotions, and that is something unique and exceptional.”