The laureate from Leon has been recognized for his “valuable contribution to the world of wine and gastronomy, and for his support to the cultural promotion of Castilla y León”.
The Sala Fundos hosted the presentation of A fuego lento, a film in the Cine Gourmet category, which links gastronomy to cinema. Presented by Roberto Lozano, this opening party of Cine Gourmet at the 68th Seminci served as a pretext for awarding one of the edition’s Espigas de Honor. The honoree was Raúl Pérez, winemaker “whose legacy has had a decisive influence on the history of Spanish wine”, in the words of Lozano.
“Raúl Pérez is a source of pride for the world of wine, inside and outside Spain,” continued Lozano, who gave some biographical notes about the award winner. “Born in Valtuille de Abajo, León, he has been elected twice as the best winemaker in the world, and his maxim is to make wines always with respect for nature. Nobody knows how to transmit the value of the terroir, the metamorphosis of the vineyard, the power of nature like Raúl,” Lozano said.
The vice-president of the Provincial Council of Valladolid, Víctor Alonso Monge, also attended the gala, who wanted to emphasize the importance of the event in the International Film Festival of Valladolid. “The province of Valladolid is international in many ways, including wine.
Being here in this Cine Gourmet is an ideal occasion to highlight how much we have in terms of culture and wine, and that we also transfer outside”, said Alonso Monge, thanking Raúl for collaborating in “going out all over the world and being recognized for his good work”. “From the Diputación de Valladolid we are delighted to be here to make the delivery. It is a fantastic moment to continue promoting all the good things that the province has”, he said.
Before the presentation of the Espiga de Honor, Raúl Pérez’s colleagues took the screen of the hall to pay tribute to him through a video. “Congratulations on this award and for all that you have been given and will be given in this life. Not only for making good wine, but for the great heart you have. You are a great person and we are proud of all the time we spent with you. For that generosity and for turning wine into a pleasant, enjoyable and companionable world”, were some of the words that his friends wanted to convey to him, also thanking the sponsors of the Espiga de Honor: Ribera del Duero and Tierra de Sabor.
After the speeches, the long-awaited moment arrived: the presentation of the Espiga de Honor to Raúl Pérez, “for his valuable contribution to the world of wine and gastronomy, and for his support to the cultural promotion of Castilla y León”, in the words of Lozano. The award winner, visibly moved, went on stage to receive the award, in the hands of Víctor Alonso Monge, amidst much applause.
“Thank you so much for this. I think it has been a year that I have spent crying. It has been a very complicated year, with many ups and downs, a complicated time in the economy. Everything that happens in the world, the wars… crush the economy and the world of wine,” lamented Raúl, who said that receiving an award is always incredible: “We are people who spend one hundred and fifty, two hundred days outside our country, and to be recognized in our community and in our country is a great source of pride for me,” he admitted.
“This doesn’t even happen in your best dreams. I’ve had a lot of recognitions, and getting the third Michelin star… I thought it was the last breath, that my wine was no longer understood. And now to be able to end this year of uncertainty with this recognition and all these words that make my heart shrink… In the end, the greatest thing in the world is that your colleagues recognize your work“, said Raúl, finally thanking “Seminci and the whole team that has made it possible”. “It’s an award for them,” he concluded. The presentation ended with the screening of A fuego lento, a feature film directed by Trần Anh Hùng who, after a succession of delicacies at the beginning of the film, develops a passion between stoves, dishes and glasses of wine that goes beyond the kitchen. A tasty sensory proposal that won him the award for best direction at the Cannes Film Festival.