Duero River Valley Wine Area Map

Duero River Valley

Castilla y León is the political name of this area, but most of the greatest wines are from vineyards around the Duero River. Indeed Spain’s most famed winery, Vega Sicilia, anchors the DO known as Ribera del Duero (meaning, the “banks of the River Duero”), fueled by the ubiquitous Tempranillo grape, Spain’s most planted red. The Duero River travels 460 miles from high in the Sistema Ibérico, forms part of the border between Spain and Portugal and then empties into the Atlantic at Oporto, a town that gives its name to a famous Portuguese fortified wine.

The table wines grown along its banks are nearly as intense as Port but are far more practical at the table. Roasted lamb and goat are genius here, and the cold Atlantic seems far away in climate and cuisine. Though many of the vineyards have only a gentle, round contour, this is high elevation viticulture: days are warm or even hot; nights are cold. Ripening is slowed; the wines become rich and ripe but hang on to their dusty, astringent structure. The less expensive wines are for immediate, delicious drinking; the top wines (Vega Sicilia, Pingus, Pesquera and many others) can last decades.

Arlanza is located in the provinces of Burgos and Palencia, Castile and Leon, Spain. The DO takes its name from the river Arlanza which flows through it.

The first written evidence of wine production in this area comes from the 12th century, when the monastery of Santa María de Bujedo de Juarros purchased vineyards on the banks of the rivers Arlanza and Duero.

The most remarkable feature of the territory is its great diversity at all levels, and the land is not an exception. Throughout the production area, there are several different types of soil. The diversity in geology results in wines with different characteristics, in general terms we can find sandy soils derived from granitic rock, resulting in long wines, subtle and elegant. In the central area there are clay soils from shales, origin of mineral and structured wines.

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The valleys and terraces of the Douro River on the border with Portugal are home to this winegrowing area, which includes 47 towns and villages from the provinces of Zamora and Salamanca.

The Control Board of the Arribes Designation of Origin was recognised on 27 July 2007.

Continental climate with Atlantic influence, Mediterranean characteristics on the slopes of the River Duero. Rainfall 500-600mm/year. 2,600 hours/year of effective sunshine. The soil has an acid pH and is shallow and low in organic materials. Sandy texture with granite, slate and quartz stones and frequent rocky outcrops.

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Bierzo is located in the northeast of the region of Castilla and Leon; specifically in the province of Leon. It borders both Galicia and Asturias, with the northeastern delimitation bordering the provinces of Orense and Lugo, and with Asturias to the north.

Geographically, the zone is ideally located between the coast and the interior, which has motivated the settlement of various towns and civilizations throughout history. The vineyards are strategically placed on terraces of relatively low inclination next to the rivers, on hillsides and on pronounced inclinations with an average height of between 450 and 1.000 meters. The semi humid climate and mild temperatures are prime for grapevine growing.

The production of the protected wines must be carried out with the exclusively recognized grapes: Red varieties, Mencía and Garnacha Tintorera; as well as white varieties such as the Godello, Doña Blanca, Palomino and Malvasía. Nearly the 75% of its production is elaborated with Mencía, exactly because of that reason one of its slogans is 'Bierzo, the land of Mencía'.

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Cigales has always been associated with aromatic & rosé wines. But once the area was granted DO status, producers began to show an interest in making red wines as well, following the example of other Duero valley DOs, and, above all, given the enormous potential of the region's reigning variety, Tempranillo, also known here as Tinta del País.

Certainly, the soil, climate and grapes of this small growing area (still less than 3,000 hectares) as well as the first results attained by the bodegas, promise well for the future. In fact, the DO Regulatory Council is presently drafting new regulations that will include other varieties - Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot for reds, and Sauvignon Blanc for rosés - to enhance the wines.

Meanwhile, this remains the most traditional of the DOs in Castile and Leon. Bodegas buy in from family village vineyards, called majuelos, where the work throughout the year and the harvesting itself are generally done by the families themselves. However, the DO is also beginning to attract new outside investment from both the public and private sector as a result of its recent adaptation of its wines to current tastes.

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The Ribera del Duero is blessed by a combination of terroir, microclimate and a native grape that gives superb, complex red wines.

At this altitude Tempranillo (also known as Tinta del País or Tinto Fino) gives thin-skinned and refreshingly acid fruit, which in turn gives wines that are delicious when they are young but also have the capacity to age into magnficent Gran Reservas. 

In the wake of the DO's creation in 1982 many vineyard sites were replanted and bodegas of every kind, ranging from small family operations to large cooperatives and single-estate bodegas, began to invest in modern winemaking technology. At the same time families who for generations grew and sold their grapes to bodegas have been building their own small wineries and the Regulating Council (Consejo Regulador) has been encouraging research and development projects ranging from computerized harvesting checks to alternatives to traditional pesticides. 

This newly acquired collective expertise has made a huge impact on the quality of the wines, which are now exported right around the world. There is a wine museum in the castle at Peñafiel and a Centro de Interpretación del vino en Aranda del Duero (Burgos).

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The Denomination of Origin Rueda was approved by the Ministry of Agriculture on January 12, 1980; it was the first Denomination of Origin to be approved in the Region of Castilla y León, after years of hard work in order to earn acknowledgement and protection for its autochthonous grape variety: the Verdejo.

The Denomination of Origin Rueda possesses exceptional natural resources for the production of top-quality wines. Specialised in making internationally renowned white wines. Also, from the 5 of August of 2008 the red wines and rosé are protected by the Denomination of Origin Rueda.

The production area included in the Denomination of Origin Rueda is located in the Region of Castilla y León and consists of 74 towns and villages, 53 of which are located south of the province of Valladolid, 17 to the west of Segovia and 4 north of Ávila.

The different grape varieties grown here are irregularly scattered over the several municipal districts comprising Rueda Appellation of Origin. However, it is the area found within the boundaries of La Seca, Rueda and Serrada where vineyards are in a higher proportion and greater intensity.

There is only one D.O. in the region of Rueda, which is “Rueda D.O.”. Within the D.O. there are many styles of wine, and these styles each get their own back label.

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Tierra de León Protected Designation of Origin born on July of 2007, but the existence of a characteristic grape and wines variety in this area comes to the Roman Era, lots of centuries ago.

The production area, with 1,413 Ha, is situated on the south of León and part of the north of Valladolid provinces. It is under the influence of Esla and Cea riverside.

The primal grape varieties are Verdejo, Godello, Albarín, Malvasía and Palomino (white); Prieto Picudo, Mencía, Tempranillo, y Garnacha (red). The Prieto Picudo grape is the most characteristic of this area and is known for have shape of a peak and squeezer bunch of grapes.

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The region known as “Tierra del Vino” – or “the land of wine” – is located in Castile-León , at the southeast of the province of Zamora. It lies on both banks of the Duero river.

It covers a total surface area of 1,799 square kilometers, which extends throughout a total of 56 boroughs, 46 of which belong to the province of Zamora and 10 more to the province of Salamanca.

The “Tierra del Vino” region benefits from a dry continental climate with extreme temperatures. Winters are bitterly cold and summers dry and hot. Winter average temperatures do not exceed 3ºC and summer time reaches 23ºC. Precipitations are scarce and the annual overall hardly reaches 400 mm. The region stands at an average height of around 750m above sea level. The effective insolation exceeds 2.800 hours per year.

The area is crossed by many rivers (Duero, Valderaduey, Guareña, Valparaíso, Ribera de Campeán…), and consequently the structure of the soil is clearly alluvial. The Topsoil is deep, highly permeable and with an excellent retentive capacity, although poor in organic matter. The underlying layers are rich in clay. Sand is frequently found on the topsoil on the plains, whilst on the hillsides gravel is more common and the hilltops tend to be covered with small pebbles and stones.

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As a historic winemaking area Toro has made a huge comeback in the last twenty years. Its rich, ripe and powerful red wines, based on the native Tinta de Toro grape, began to show their potential after a new generation of trained oenologists began work here and the necessary investment was made in stainless steel equipment.

There has also been a continuous upgrading of harvesting methods in the last decade. Its evolution over recent decades has placed this wine as protagonist of the magma of wine reviews at both national and international levels.

What makes Toro's red wines unusual - and has given them fame since medieval times - is their combination of top-range strength, full fruit, freshness and acidity as well as the ability to age well .

Local producers reckon that young wines peak when two years old, Crianzas at five to nine years, Reservas at thirteen years and Gran Reservas at twenty years.

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