Agustín Santolaya joined Bodegas Roda in 1992, and has been CEO since 1998
Agustín Santolaya describes wine as “the only dynamic way to bottle time”—a philosophy visible in the viticultural and winery practices at Bodegas Roda, where he began as enological consultant in 1992 and has been CEO since 1998.
An Education in WineSantolaya’s family has a long history in wine and viticulture in the Rioja town of Villamediana de Iregua, where he was raised. He studied agriculture at Zaragoza University, focusing on the study of hailstorms, then obtained his Master’s degree in viticulture and enology. This led to consulting projects in viticulture and a teaching stint in the master of viticulture and enology program at Zaragoza University. He has published numerous articles in specialized magazines and is a member of the board of consultants of the World Forum of Wine (Foro Mundial del Vino). Along the way, he also became a specialist in oliviculture and olive oil making.
“In the beginning I enjoyed viticulture and enology from the technical perspective,” Santolaya says, but now he finds something deeper in it. He relishes the intensity with which his work allows him to feel the climate and the soil, enjoys living so closely in nature. He also draws satisfaction from working on a project—Bodegas Roda in its entirety: its quality, positioning and image—that grows and improves everyday. At bottom, though, his joy in his work is a universal one: “Feeling the friendship of wine lovers and enjoying it with a glass of wine [that] reflects a landscape and a meteorological vintage.”
Santolaya is married with two sons and lives surrounded by vineyard in his childhood hometown.