In 1998, Alvaro partnered with his nephew, Ricardo Perez, who had just finished his enological studies in Bordeaux, and had done internships and harvest work with Christian Moueix and at Chateau Margaux. At the time, the two pretty much had “pick of the litter” for vineyards in Bierzo, and settled on an area on the western edge of the region near the tiny village of Corullòn. This part of Bierzo is unique in that it not only boasts steep, old-vine vineyards, but it is the part of the appellation that has very poor, schist soils. The majority of the region, around 90%, are actually based on clay soils on flat or small, rolling hills.
Alvaro and Ricardo’s first vintage was 1999, and they decided to name the winery after Alvaro's father and Ricardo’s grandfather, José Palacios, who had passed away in early 2000, soon after they had made their first harvest. The wine was called Corullòn, named after the village it was from. That wine was made up of several small plots that they had acquired. Two years later, in 2001, they decided that the best of these plots had true Grand Cru potential, so they decided to vinify and bottle them separately. These historic vineyards, San Martin, Moncerbal, Las Lamas and La Faraona are still produced today, and tell the true story of Bierzo and its ability to make unique, compelling and age-worthy wines.
That same year, in 2001, they also decided to produce an “everyday Bierzo” that could showcase this unique varietal, but at a more affordable price point. For this wine, they combined their estate vineyards in Corullòn with some purchased grapes from other parts of the region. They saw this patchwork of vineyards for this wine sort of like the petals on a flower, so they decided to call the wine Petalos. Today, they work with 180 small conscientious growers, about half in Corullòn (on schist), half from other nearby villages (on clay) to produce about 25-30,000 bottles of a delicious, dark-fruited, and mineral-infused red.