Vinos de Finca vs Vinos de Pago: What is the difference?

Jean Leon


The quality and prestige of some wines exceeds those of others. Certain appellations of origin have a longer history, and certain wines have specific characteristics that make them different, unique, special. What are known as Vinos de Pago outside of Catalonia, here we call Vinos de Finca, the equivalent of single vineyard wines. This classification goes further than Vino de Pago and contains certain legal aspects that set it apart in addition to having even stricter production and winemaking standards. The bottom line is that Vino de Finca is the highest classification a wine can obtain in Catalonia at this time. The following criteria are what make these wines so exceptional:

  1. Top-tier appellation of origin (the vineyard itself is an appellation).
  2. The winery must have a well-established, prestigious and high-quality market presence of at least 10 years.
  3. Vineyard age: minimum 5 years.
  4. Vineyard yields are 15% lower than for the same variety in the rest of the appellation.
  5. Maximum yields of 650 ml per kilo.
  6. The wine is exclusively aged in oak barrels of maximum 600 liters.
  7. Wineries must establish well-defined and comprehensive traceability from production through sales.
  8. Wine tastings use stricter rating criteria.
  9. The Vino de Finca classification must appear on the label along with the wine's appellation of origin.


Our winery is very familiar with these criteria. Why? Well, because Vinya La Scala Cabernet Sauvignon Gran Reserva, Vinya Le Havre Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva, Vinya Palau Merlot and Vinya Gigi Chardonnay were the first wines in the Penedès, and the second in all of Catalonia, to be recognized as Vinos de Finca (single vineyard wines). Nowadays, Jean Leon shares this distinction with four other wineries: Bodega René Barbier (wine: Clos Mogador) and Vall Llach (wine: Mas de la Rosa) from the DOQ Priorat, Heretat Oller del Mas (wine: Arnau Oller) from the DO Bages, and Vinyes Domènech (wine: Teixar) from the DO Montsant.  


To give you an idea of the importance we give Vinos de Finca at Jean Leon, we currently have 65 hectares in production of which 42 are exclusively dedicated to making these extraordinary wines. This represents a significant proportion, which clearly expresses the effort we put into obtaining ever more prestigious, original and unique wines.  


In order to provide an even clearer picture of the differences between Vinos de Finca and Vinos de Pago, we have put together the infographic at the top of this paragraph. It clearly shows that the two classifications are closely related, but contain characteristics that differentiate them from each other.  Simply put, it is currently more difficult to obtain a Vino de Finca than a Vino de Pago classification. That being said, the wines in both categories are excellent, and we encourage you to try them and decide for yourself what makes them unique.    


Categorías: Jean Leon