Ribera del Duero
The Ribera Del Duero is located in the Spanish region of Castilla y León on the river Duero (douro in Portugal). The entire wine-growing area covers approximately 200,000 hectares and is surrounded by mountains that protect the valley from extreme climatic conditions. Temperatures can rise to almost 40 degrees in summer and fall below freezing in the winter months.
Such temperatures and the high altitude contribute to the production of the high quality wines that are ultimately produced here and for which the Ribera del Duero is so famous.
The main grape of Ribera del Duero, and the only one 'recommended', is the tinto fino, or tinta del país. This is a local variant of the Tempranillo. This grape covers 95% of the total vineyard area and is recommended for replanting throughout the region. In Rioja, this grape needs the support of other varieties, but due to the height and soil composition in the Duero, it produces fine, complex wines as a monoculture. The D.O. requires a minimum of 75% tinto fino. Cabernet Sauvignon, Garnacha tinta, Malbec, Merlot and Albillo are classified as permitted varieties. Garnacha tinta, also known as tinto aragonés, is mainly used for the production of rosado Ribera del Duero.
Vega Sicilia has been the trendsetter for Ribera del Duero: they let the wine ferment in open vats for many days and the wine is aged for 10 years before being bottled and sold. The modern method is slightly different and the wines can now be drunk fairly young (2 to 3 years), but they get better for up to 10 years. It is now customary in Ribera del Duero to ferment after stealing and before pressing. Indeed, some of the most modern bodegas barely treat their grapes before the wine is made, and gravity is used to cross the wine. In an average modern company, the process is as follows: The bodega is built on a hillside and the grapes are poured into a tremel at the highest point of the hill. From there they are transferred to a destructor. Then the grapes fall by gravity into a stainless steel tank of about 150 hl. The tank is hoisted by a crane and brought to a fermentation vessel. Here the content is transferred into the vessel by gravity again.
The main wineries of Ribera del Duero
- Pago de Carraove coat
- Vega Sicilia
- Dominio de Pingus
- Emilio Moro
- Finca Villacreces,
- Hermanos Sastre
- J.C. Conde Alonso del Yerro
- Dominio de Atauta
- Hacienda Monasterio
- Finca Torremilanos
- Telmo Rodríguez
- Félix Callejo
- Pérez Pascuas - Viña Pedrosa
- Condado de Haza
- Pago de los Capellanes
- Abadía Retuerta
Why is the area around the Duero extremely suitable for the production of quality wine?
A number of factors are decisive for this.
First of all, there is the harsh continental climate that cannot be compared in any way with the friendlier climate we know from the Spanish Costas. The locals themselves describe it as “9 months of winter, 3 months of hell”; everything in Ribera is intense. The number of hours of sunshine is 2400 per year. During the three summer months it is very hot during the day (hence "hell") without a drop of rain and in winter the mercury easily drops to -20 ° C and sometimes even below. Perhaps most important for the quality of Ribera wines is the temperature difference between day and night (also referred to by the English term diurnal range) during the growing season. Due to the location of the vineyards between 720 to 1,100 meters above sea level on the Spanish mountain plateau "Meseta Central", temperatures drop dramatically at night. Even in summer it can be insidiously cold at night! Grapes love these temperature changes between day and night. During the warm days, the grapes receive plenty of sun and warmth to ripen perfectly. Then, at night, the photosynthesis that ensures that ripening is abruptly interrupted, causing the grapes to go into a state of shock, as it were, thereby settling down and - very importantly - retaining their acids well. The result of these extreme conditions is clearly reflected in the wine. Ribera del Duero wines are full, ripe and powerful and generally have a good alcohol percentage, but also always have a pleasant acidity that ensures finesse and a good balance.
The river, namesake of the DO, has an important impact on the wine region in the second place. The proximity to the river moderates the ambient temperature in the vineyards and protects the canes against night frost in the spring and autumn. The river also creates stone-rich deposits. In the higher vineyards, the soil consists mainly of limestone and clay.
Another important point for the quality of Ribera del Duero is the high percentage of old buses