We Want You To Fall In Love With All The Beautiful Wine Spain Has To Offer, Just Like We Have.
and a Motorycle
Founded by long-time wine collector Jose Manuel Aldomar, and his son, Igor, Albae Wine Club is built on the deep-rooted love they feel for the Spanish wine scene and its history.
Growing up in post-war Madrid, Jose-Manuel can remember sitting in the sidecar of his father’s motorcycle making the day-long trip from Madrid to Zaragoza to visit his grandfather and to purchase wine from the area’s wineries. He and Igor made their own such pilgrimages, spending months in Spain meeting with producers, tasting their creations, and curating the dreamiest Spanish wine list possible.
Who We Are...
Oenologist & Sommelier
Born in La Rioja, into a family of viticulturists, Elena’s life has always revolved around wine. After finishing her Oenology studies in France, she worked at wineries in New Zealand, South Africa, Chile, and Australia.
Her travels continued as a Wine Ambassador in China, Russia, and the USA, helping to discover her passion for communication and education.
Elena now specializes in wine tastings, both virtual and physical, and recently began producing her own Rioja wine.
Elena is our expert in La Rioja, and we couldn't be happier!
Luis Miguel Fernández
Sommelier & Winemaker
Castilla Y LÉon & Galicia
This man has a nose of gold! Luis Miguel is a well known authority on wine, a sommelier, and owner of El Pecado restaurant & wine-bar in Salamanca. He is also the CEO of Camino del Norte Vinos, working with the world renowned oenologist Raúl Pérez, and founder of Autenticos Viñadores.
Luis Miguel's breadth of knowledge of Spanish wine is one that Albae taps into regularly, that, and his superb wines.
With good wine, you need good food, and this man knows a thing or two about that. By the age of 21 Chef Romain Avril had already worked in several Michelin star restaurants across Europe.
Classically trained in his native Paris, France, Romain also explored fusion and molecular gastronomy. In 2010, Avril moved to Canada and achieved the position of Executive Chef at La Société Bistro.
Since moving to Toronto Chef Romain Avril has taken part in many projects including the opening of several restaurants, judging for Top Chef Canada, and is the Canadian ambassador for Nespresso & Monogram.
Chef Romain Avril works closely with Albae to plan and execute bespoke tasting dinners paired with our exclusive wines.
Jose Manuel Aldomar
Mastermind & Co-Founder
The heart and soul of Albae Wine Club, Jose Manuel has Spanish wine deeply rooted in his past. He remembers spending summers as a young boy at his father’s family farm in the province of Alicante. Joaquín, a local farmer, would take him out on a horse-drawn cart to the fields and on walks through vineyards where Jose Manuel would sneak grapes directly from the vines.
He is grateful to his parents who, being city-folk from Madrid, made sure he experienced and appreciated the diverse culture and landscapes of Spain, the most biodiverse country in Europe.
At 32 years old, during his professional career at Iberia Airlines, Jose Manuel took the position of General Manager in the provinces of Cádiz, Huelva, and Sevilla, home of the Jerez-Xerès-Sherry DO. He spent 3 glorious years in the land of Albariza soils enjoying the most intriguing and aromatic wines while making what are now some of his oldest friends.
After retiring he decided to pay tribute to Spain by establishing the first Spanish Wine Culture Club in Canada, Albae Wine Club.
Igor Manuel Aldomar
Designer, Photographer & Co-founder
Much like his father, Igor has fond memories of summers in Spain particularly in Andalusia, where he now has some of his closest friends.
At a young age, he too walked through vineyards picking grapes except it was with three Border Collies for companions and at his Aunt’s vineyard, near Lyon in France. Igor and his cousins harvested grapes together and labeled thousands of bottles of wine by hand, experiencing the hard work that goes into wine-making.
An industrial designer by education, Igor has worked in and around the Toronto hospitality industry for several years.
He is a dreamer and thinker, always challenging the status quo and pushing new ideas. Through his background in design he’s aiming to create the ultimate experience for Albae’s members and to add his touch to the Toronto wine scene.
Behind The Name Albae.
Albae comes from the root word Alba which in Spanish means sunrise or dawn and represents rebirth; the start of a new day. Wine is truly a gift from nature as is the rising sun which blankets the vineyards of Spain everyday. For this reason, we chose the Latin feminine form of Alba(e) as an ode to Mother Nature and a tip of the hat to the Romans who helped proliferate wine through the Iberian peninsula between the 2nd century BCE – 5th century CE.
Igor Aldomar (far left) & Jose Manuel Aldomar (far right) visiting Bodegas Bernabeleva near Madrid
Albae is a community for those passionate about the Iberian peninsula and discovering its ancient wine culture.
Spanish wine is our area of expertise, so we decided to focus our efforts on offering a complete selection from across the country spanning all regions and wine styles. We love these wines and want to share them with you!
With a closely knit network of winemakers from every region in Spain, the club aims to offer members artisanal wines as well as the opportunity to participate in special events, gourmet dinners, group wine projects, and travel to meet the winemakers.
How We Choose Wines
Our wine selection happens in Spain with local experts and sommeliers.
What sets Albae apart is that we work directly with winemakers in Spain. We personally source, taste, and select wines that are currently unavailable in Canada and cultivate relationships with the men and women who work hard to produce beautiful wines.
The club currently works with 48 wineries, and counting.
Our guiding principles in wine selection are simple; find the best wines made with care, love, passion, and with a deep respect for the land they come from.
Luis Miguel Fernández (Albae's Chief Sommelier) leading a tasting of Camino del Norte wines by Raul Pérez at Vila Viniteca in Barcelona
The Spanish Wine Revolution
Thoughtfully cultivated and masterfully crafted, Spain's wine-making is entering a new era.
At Albae, we love wines with character, that show all their intricacies and celebrate their differences. Spain has an immensely rich variety of wine built on a strong wine-making culture that dates back five thousand years. Recently, their has been a shift, large industrial operations are giving way to more traditional hands-on approaches.
Ancient indigenous grape varieties (over 500), some on the brink of extinction, have been revived by a new generation of winemakers. The re-adoption of low-intervention methods and a better understanding of land ecology, aided by savvy oenologists, has led to a new wave of wines that beautifully express their unique terroirs.
Preserving the environment and the art of winemaking for the enjoyment of future generations.
Sustainability is very important at all points in the lifecycle of wine. The winemakers we work with employ an array of sustainable practices (low-intervention methods, biodynamic farming, organic farming) with the ultimate goal of producing the best quality wine while preserving the local ecosystem.
We actively collaborate to improve in important areas such as packaging, reducing weight of glass bottles, and developing closed-loop systems.