María Isabel Mijares, Spain's first winemaker, dies

The oenologist María Isabel Mijares (Mérida, 1942), considered the first woman to carry out this profession in Spain, died this Sunday in Madrid at the age of 81, as reported this Sunday on the social network X by the Royal Academy of Gastronomy (RAG).

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
11 February 2024 Sunday 15:29
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María Isabel Mijares, Spain's first winemaker, dies

The oenologist María Isabel Mijares (Mérida, 1942), considered the first woman to carry out this profession in Spain, died this Sunday in Madrid at the age of 81, as reported this Sunday on the social network X by the Royal Academy of Gastronomy (RAG). ).

With a photograph of Isabel with a glass of wine, the RAG announces her death and publishes a link on this social network highlighting her career.

"The world of wine is in mourning today. One of our most illustrious winemakers, Mª Isabel Mijares, Full Academician of the Royal Academy of Gastronomy, died last night in Madrid," it is reported.

In her obituary, the RAG highlights that "Maribel was a pioneer in a world that was then predominantly male" and recalls that after completing her degree in Chemistry, she obtained a scholarship from the French Government in 1967 to study at the Institute of Oenology at the University of Bordeaux. where he graduated in Oenology and obtained a higher diploma in Wine Tasting.

Furthermore, in 1970, with a scholarship from the Juan March Foundation, he completed his doctorate in oenology at the Bordeaux Institute of Oenology and obtained the Diplôme d'Études Approfondies. She was the first winemaker in Spain and the first woman to chair a Regulatory Council, that of the Valdepeñas Wine Denomination of Origin.

"Since then, his career in the oenological world has been immense," says the RAG, as he has chaired juries, fairs, forums and specialized salons, advised oenological projects, published books and given conferences all over the world.

She created her own consulting company, Equipo Team, and was Coordinator and Director of the Campsa Guide to the Best Wines of Spain (later the Repsol Guide), from 1998 to 2019.

Since 2017, she was technical director of the Wine Activities of the Real Casino of Madrid, where she organized wine gatherings and technical conferences.

But in addition to this "impeccable resume," adds the RAG, "Maribel was one of our most illustrious and beloved Academics. She became part of the Royal Academy of Gastronomy with a speech titled My Dialogue with a Jar of Wine, in El Trascacho of Valdepeñas, on the night of San Andrés. This constant dialogue between her, the wine and the world was one of her greatest virtues."

In the words of its president, Luis Suárez de Lezo, "the Royal Academy of Gastronomy loses one of its great references, which over the years has contributed decisively not only to the dissemination of the wine culture of our country, but to the positioning of the Academy itself".

"A born and passionate communicator, her ironic, fun and enthusiastic conversation will be our best memory," concludes the RAG.

The president of the Government of Extremadura, María Guardiola, has also echoed the death of Mijares in X and indicates that she deeply regrets his loss. She was "one of the pioneers and a true reference in the oenology sector; she leaves an indelible mark. My deepest condolences to all her loved ones," she says.

The City Council of Mérida, the city where she was born, also publishes a message of condolences for the death of the renowned winemaker. Thus, the mayor, Antonio Rodríguez Osuna, on behalf of the entire municipal corporation and the city, regrets the death of Isabel Mijares, Favorite Daughter of Mérida, and sends her condolences to her family and friends.

"Mérida today remembers one of our greatest ambassadors. May she rest in peace," concludes the Emeritus City Council.