Jean Leon ‘Vinya Gigi’ Chardonnay
About The Brand
The story behind the Jean Leon winery, in Spain’s Mediterranean Wine Region of Penedes, is literally something out of Hollywood. Born as Ceferino Carrion in Santander, Spain in 1928, Jean Leon was always ambitious. At 19, he left Spain to find his luck in Paris, New York and ultimately Hollywood. He founded the world famous California restaurant, “La Scala” in Beverly Hills. What many people don’t know is that he started the restaurant in partnership with James Dean. The gourmet establishment became the haunt of many famous actors and performers of the time.
However, despite his huge success in America, Jean Leon still missed his native Spain. He decided to use his well-known name (respected in gastronomic and enological circles in the US) to return to Spain and create a world-class winery. That was back in 1963. His was one of the first wineries to pioneer the concept of a “single vineyard estate”, virtually unheard of during the Franco years and religious cooperatives. This concept is called “Pago” and is still not the norm in Spain. Jean Leon also broke tradition by importing French grape varietals, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. He believed that these grapes suited the balmy Mediterranean climate perfectly.