A stroll along the Ribera del Duero’s Golden Mile
It’s more than likely that, if we were to ask you to name the 3 main Spanish Designations of Origin, the D.O. Ribera del Duero would feature in your answer.
The D.O. Ribera del Duero, despite its relative youth (it was made an official DO in 1982), is one of the more reputable and most international on the Spanish wine scene, home to some of the best wines in the world.
Abadía Retuerta, from the Canal del Duero.
Set on a vast plateau between the Castilla-Leon provinces of Soria, Burgos, Segovia and Valladolid, the boarders of the Designation of Origen Ribera del Duero runs along a strip 115 kilometres long and 35 kilometres wide, hugging the banks of the river Duero, from which this Designation takes its name.
But what really makes this Designation special is the small strip of no more than 15 kilometres that stretches from the town of Peñafiel until Tudela de Duero: The famous Golden Mile of the Ribera del Duero.
At a glance the Ribera del Duero’s Golden Mile doesn’t appear that different to the other vineyards nearby, but what sets it aside from the rest is the fact that it’s home to a number of iconic wineries such as Vega Sicilia, Dominio de Pingus, Bodegas Aalto, Emilio Moro, Hacienda Monasterio, Abadía Retuerta, Dehesa de los Canónigos, Mauro, Bodegas Arzuaga, Protos, Finca Villacreces, Pago de Carraovejas, Pesquera, Bodegas y Viñedos Alión, Matarromera, Legaris… Impressive!
Any wine enthusiast taking a trip by bike or car along the road linking these towns would be moved, winery after winery on each side of the road. These neighbours all contribute the worldwide recognition of the Designation of Origen Ribera del Duero.
It is between all these plots of lands, with the land divisions between each winery almost unnoticeable, that we find the fruit used to make some of the best wines in Spain, for example:
Pingus 2007, one of the most sought-after and searched for wines in the world. Pingus is made from old Tinta Fina vines with scarce production, between Pesquera and Roa. This is more than a wine. It’s an aspiration.
Vega Sicilia Valbuena 2008. A round wine made by the legendary Bodega Vega Sicilia. This wine isn’t aged for as long as its older brother, Vega Sicilia Único, giving it a leaner character. A round wine, with a large life ahead of it.
Aalto 2011, by Bodegas Aalto. This winery may have been one of the last to arrive in the area, but it’s certainly making a name for itself among the best at extraordinary speed. Aalto 2011 offers us all the typical features of the Tinta Fina variety. A terrific, elegant wine, full of nuances.
So now you know: If you fancy discovering the highest concentration of history, wineries and some of the best wines of the Ribera del Duero, look no further than the Golden Mile, you’ll be amazed!