The Parra family has lived on and worked the land in La Mancha for generations.
The word parra, actually means “stalk” in Spanish and given the local tradition of naming people after their professions, family legend has it that their ancestors cultivated vineyards back in the distant past. Parra Family Organic was founded in 1993 by three brothers: Francisco, Javier and Luis. They had begun their careers in other forms of small business, which they sold to turn to their passion, agriculture. In spite of the size of the business – Parra Family Organic sells around four million bottles of wine a year and are major suppliers of Organic garlic, among other products – the brothers alone handle most of the office work and are intimately involved in the workings of the farm, dairy and cellar.
Everyone helps out with everything, but if pressed Francisco will admit he does a bit more in the way of sales and marketing, while Javier concentrates more on winemaking. Luis does some of everything and is very involved in his passion: raising pigeons.
The dairy and the sheep came into the family through Javier who married a local gal whose father owned a small cheese-making operation. The dairy had traditionally made young Queso Manchegos for local consumption. When Javier took it over he and his brothers decided to create cheese for export and that is when they decided to make a Queso Manchego that was Organic and tasted like cheese used to in the old days. The result is La Oveja Negra, Organic Manchego available in the United States and a taste of Spain the way it used to be.