Ribera del Duero: successful revolution undergone
The DO Ribera de Duero is located north west of Madrid and extends along several provinces of Castile and Leon: Valladolid, Segovia, Burgos and Soria, from San Estéban de Gormaz in the east to Quintanilla de Onésimo in the west.
The Duero valley's climate combines continental influences with extreme winter cold as well as other Mediterranean characteristics, such as hot and dry summers.
The terrain varies considerably: near the river banks, the soil is alluvial with sand, clay and round stones. The slopes above them are among the best for vines; however, the steeper slopes are not suitable for planting. Soils at the slopes are clay, marl and limestone. The soil of some vineyards is almost white in color because of the elevated content of chalk. Some winegrowers also plant at the páramo, the higher meadows traditionally used for cereals.
The DO, with more than 20,000 hectares (about 50,000 acres), produces red wines and some rosado, but white wines are not allowed.The grapes used in the red wines are limited to a few varieties: Tempranillo grapes also called Tinto Fino or Tinta del país, are used with a minimum of 75% in the blend for red wines. The aging classification is as follows: joven, crianza, reserva and gran reserva.
Spanish Duero & Portuguese Douro wines
A vast region with wines on their rise to stardom
This is the same river Duero that runs through Portugal, where it is called Douro. Both Ribera del Duero (red wines), Rueda (white wines), Cigales (white) and Toro (red wines) are situated in the same region, the historical heart of Castile and Leon, midway between the Cantabrian coast and Madrid, on a vast northern plateau of Castilla y Leon called la Meseta central, with high elevations ranging from 600 to 780 meters. A relatively short distance separates one district from the other. The climate is generally hot and dry during summer with an average daytime temperature of 25-32°C. However, summer temperatures drop considerably at night because of the Meseta’s elevation. The wines produced in the Ribera del Duero are famous for the late maturing of the grapes, a favorable condition for a great aging capacity. Ribera del Duero is home to one of Spain's flagship wineries: Vega Sicilia, and since recently has the one of the most luxury Hotel Monastery - Hotel Abadia Retuerta Le Domaine - probably the most ambitious winery investment project of the new millenium.