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Ribera del Duero: successful revolution undergone


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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.