91 Points Guia Penin (Most Influential Critic in Spain) and was awarded Silver from the Mundus Vini
Pago Ayles is one of Spain's estate-specific Vinos de Pago, the first of its kind in the autonomous community of Aragon. The estate lies less than 18 miles (30km) from the regional capital, Zaragoza. The vineyard site has a long history of winemaking. The first documented evidence of vine cultivation dates back to the 12th Century, on land gifted to monks by King Alfonso II after Catholic forces retook the region from the Islamic Moors. The vineyard remained in the hands of the church for five centuries and flourished. The Justice of Aragon – a judicial officer whose main roles were to interpret and defend the law and mediate in conflicts between the monarch and the nobles – then became custodian of the vineyard and was the first owner outside the clergy.
The unique terroir is influenced by the River Huerva, a tributary of the eastward-flowing Ebro, and the imposing Monte San Pablo mountain. The soil is a mixture of clay, limestone and chalk, which is ideal for making high-quality wine. Caves, ravines and old river beds can be found all over the estate and it is brimming with wildlife. In fact, it is part of a Special Conservation Area for Birds created under the European Union's Natura 2000 Network initiative.