Less than six months after local physician and surgeon Dr. Juan Palomar died of brain cancer at 69, several wines from the winery he founded near his childhood home in southern Spain collected some impressive medals, including a coveted double-gold, in an international wine competition.
Nola Palomar, Dr. Palomar’s wife, told this news outlet this morning that she has been notified of the results of the 2018 San Francisco International Wine Competition, in which she entered four wines from her late husband’s winery, Veleta. All of them earned medals, including the 2009 Veleta Tempranillo Privilegio Gran Reserva, which was rated at 97 points and earned a Double Gold medal, Nola Palomar said.
The double-gold designation means that all of the judges on an evaluation panel were unanimous in awarding a wine a gold medal.
“This award has a great significance to our winery because it shows the continued quality, ageability and prestige that my husband worked so hard to achieve,” Palomar said.
“My heart laments that Juan is not here to share this tremendous honor with us.”
>> ‘True gentleman:’ Local winery owner and physician passes away (June 1, 2018)
The 2009 Veleta Tempranillo Privilegio is no stranger to accolades. The same wine captured double-gold in this same competition in 2014 and 2015, and the 2015 medal propelled the Veleta winery to win the award of “Best of Nation” among Spanish wineries in the 2015 San Francisco International Wine Competition.
The Palomars founded Bodega Dominio Buenavista, maker of Veleta wines, near Granada in southern Spain more than 15 years ago. The wines made their Dayton-area debut in 2003.
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The urologist who practiced and performed surgery in Dayton and southwest Ohio during his medical career told the Dayton Daily News in a 2004 interview that the winery project "started as a simple quest: to grow the type of grapes and make a wine similar to the wines from the Napa Valley." In addition to planting grape varietals associated with Spain, such as tempranillo, Dr. Palomar planted cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc and chardonnay.
"Truly, I didn't know what I was getting into," he said.
As the magnitude of the quest slowly revealed itself, Palomar simply became more determined to succeed — for himself, but also for his Spanish neighbors.
"I see the good feelings that this enterprise has brought to the local villagers," he said. "They are as proud as I am of having a product from their land recognized in Spain and sold as far away as the United States."
For more information, check out the Veleta Facebook page.