Helen Unger Clark – www.translate.wine
Today’s featured region is one of the most popular in Spain and my personal favorite: the Ribera del Duero.
LOCATION: The Ribera del Duero is a region that is located, as its name indicates, along the banks of the Duero river in the southern half of the province of Castilla y León. The wineries are located along a 70-mile stretch of the Duero River. Given that the region is located on Spain’s meseta, all the wineries are at a high elevation, some even reaching a half a mile above sea level! The temperatures can vary enormously, especially in the summer when it’s not uncommon for it to be in the high 30s during the day and drop below 20ºC at night.
GRAPES: For a wine from the Ribera del Duero to be recognized by the D.O., it must be least 75% tempranillo. That is easy to achieve, given that 95% of the grapes grown in the region are tempranillo! Wines may also be made from cabernet sauvignon, garnacha/grenache, malbec, merlot, and albillo. Only red and rosé wines are considered D.O. wines.
PRODUCERS: Unlike the first region I mentioned, the Ribera del Duero region has at least 270 wineries with over 55,000 acres of vineyards. According to the Ribera y Rueda website, this is up from just 9 producers and 15,000 acres when the Ribera del Duero became a D.O. in 1982! Vega Sicilia’s flagship wine “Unico” is a Ribera del Duero. However, there are MANY much smaller wineries with amazing products to try.
OTHER FUN FACTS: I love this quote from the Ribera y Rueda website: “Full-bodied without going Godzilla-overboard, Ribera del Duero tempranillos are about as food-friendly as red wines get.”
To learn more about wines from this region, check out: https://www.riberaruedawine.com/ribera-del-duero/