Ribera del Duero is located in the center of Castilla y León, part of Spain’s largest autonomía(state). This ancient winemaking region flanks both sides of the Duero river, spanning from Aranda del Duero to Valladolid.
Tempranillo (a.k.a. Tino Fino or Tinta del País) has been cultivated by winegrowers dating back some two and a half millennia. Ribera del Duero only received DO status in 1982 with just a handful of existing wineries.
With fewer than 300 wineries, most bodegas are boutique, family-run operations. These viticultores share a common philosophy – that the climate, soils, and growing conditions give these wines their distinctive character – a true expression of the terruño of the Ribera del Duero.
Second in total Tempranillo production only to Rioja, old and young vines thrive in the harsh Mediterranean/Continental climate, growing conditions, and sandy clay, limestone soils. After centuries of adaptation, this varietal produces wines of concentration, power and finesse.
Ribera del Duero wines are classified by aging requirements: Cosecha for a young wine, Crianza for a minimum aging of 24 months (one year in barrel), Reserva for a min. aging of 36 months (one year in barrel), and Gran Reserva for a min. aging of five years (two years in barrel), followed by additional time in bottle before release to market.
In addition, select wineries produce claretes (traditional red and white field blends) aged rosados, and the indigenous varietal Albillo Mayor, making for some substantial white wines.