The lands under the Designation of Origin Ribera del Duero are located in the Northern plateau of the Iberian Peninsula.
The climate in Ribera del Duero is marked by moderate rainfalls, dry and hot summers, long and rough winters and marked temperature oscillations throughout seasons, or what is the same, a Mediterranean climate with Atlantic and Continental influences, with more than 2.400 hours sunlight.
Sunset at Gumiel de Mercado (Burgos) CRDO Ribera del Duero
The climate and the high altitude, along with the clayey, muddy and chalky stone soils provide the perfect conditions to grow Tinta Fina grapes. These features contribute to a very slow ripening of the grapes, which allows obtaining excellent acidity rates and wines with their own personality. Expressive, complex and structured red and rosé wines, with noble tannins, a great intensity and lively colours.
The river Duero is the common thread for more than 200 wineries which are currently part of this productive wine region. The history of this place has evolved in parallel with the main variety grown: Tinta del País or Tinta Fina. It is exactly the same variety known in other regions as Tempranillo. It represents 95% of the total production.
A good excuse to discover this region is tasting a sample of its gastronomy. The key product is lamb, normally roasted in wood stoves. This dish is traditionally cooked with Churra race young lambs, under a Protected Geographical Indication.
We could base our starting point in Peñafiel and start discovering the area framed by the municipalities of Peñafiel, Quintanilla de Onésimo, Valbuena de Duero and Pesquera (also known as the Golden Mile). It is there, where the highest concentration of wineries in Ribera del Duero is located. All of them are good options to discover the ins and outs of the wines of the region, whet the appetite and start thinking of a visit to El Mesón Gonzalez, the restaurant in which the best lamb in Segovia is served.
We could start a great tour of the most emblematic wineries in Ribera del Duero by visiting the mythic Vega Sicilia, which produces Vega Sicilia Único, a wine that must be tasted at least once in life. We could continue visiting Dominio de Pingus and discovering the exclusive wines elaborated by Peter Sissek: Pingus and Flor de Pingus.
Among more affordable wines but not less interesting, we find the renowned Pesquera, elaborated under the directions of Alejandro Fernandez. They are aromatic and structured wines with a great pigmentation. As an evidence of it, we can try Tinto Pesquera Reserva Millenium or maybe some of the excellent wines by Pago de los Capellanes, such as Pago de los Capellanes el Nogal.
If all the wineries were included in our list it will be endless, but we cannot forget to mention Bodegas Hermanos Sastre (Regina Vides is one of their most appealing wines), Finca Villacreces (Do you feel like tasting a glass of Nebro 2008?), Matarromera, Bodegas Félix Callejo (with the great Selección de la Familia), Pago de Carraovejas or Emilio Moro (with Valderamiro and Sanchomartín wines). There is no doubt that all of them are worth a visit to their place of origin.
But if you are looking for some relax and body care experiences, do not hesitate in visiting Bodegas Arzuaga, a place where you can taste the great Arzuaga Crianza, or La Planta and also enjoy a winetherapy session in its Wine Spa Resort.
Last but not least, do not leave the region without tasting the cheese “Región del Duero”, a guarantee brand created to promote the cheese produced in this area. Under this brand we can find pressed paste cheese ranging from the softer to some aged cheeses made of sheep milk or mixed milk either raw or pasteurised.
Can you propose a Ribera del Duero to be paired with these delicacies?