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THE MAN

DISCOVER THE ORIGINS OF A MAN, A TIME, A WINE.

Did you know...?

Jean Leon, the winery's founder, was really called Ceferino Carrión? That he opened one of the most exclusive restaurants in Beverly Hills and served five US presidents? That the wine chosen for Ronald Reagan's official inaugural dinner in 1981 was a Jean Leon? That Jean Leon was close friends with Hollywood stars like James Dean and Marilyn Monroe? Find out more about his movie-worthy life, which has inspired books and documentaries!

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1996
Ángel Ceferino Carrión Madrazo is born in Santander on April 28th, 1929
An immense fire destroys the city of Santander, and his family moves to Barcelona
On July 16th, he and three friends venture across the border to France
In Bayonne, Bordeaux and Paris, he works as a waiter, interpreter and whatever else comes his way
He stows away on a ship headed to the US, where he works as a bus boy and waiter
After 1950, Jean Leon's family would not hear from him for 12 years, and eventually they assume he is dead
He is drafted by the Army Corps of Engineers (L.A.) to serve in the Korean War. He escapes from a training camp in San Francisco, but as luck would have it, a ceasefire is declared in 1951
He returns to Hollywood where he waits tables at fashionable restaurants and works as a cab driver
He befriends James Dean and they hatch a plan to open the most luxurious restaurant in Hollywood. But Dean dies before they can realize their dream
He opens the La Scala restaurant, which quickly becomes the gathering spot for the most influential names in Hollywood
He pursues his second ambition: to make a wine on a par with his select clientele. To do so, he buys 150 hectares of premium land in Penedès, Catalonia
He opens the Jean Leon winery, built in the style of an authentic Bordeaux château
Jean Leon plants the first Chardonnay vines in the Vinya Gigi vineyard
He plants the first vines in the Vinya Le Havre vineyard
He decides to send the entire first vintage of Vinya La Scala (1969) to his Beverly Hills restaurant
Jean Leon brings the first Vinya Gigi vintage to market
Ronald Reagan, the US president, chooses Jean Leon wines for his inaugural dinner at the White House
The winery plants the first Merlot vines in the Vinya Palau vineyard
The prestigious Wine magazine picks Jean Leon's Cabernet Sauvignon as one of the world's eight best wines
After falling ill, Jean Leon decides to entrust the Torres Family with his legacy to ensure the continuity of his winery and the prestige of his wines
He spends the last days of his life sailing and passes away on October 6th, 1996

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