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The Ribera del Duero wine region

Today Ribera del Duero is a byword throughout the world for high-quality red wine. The typical Ribera del Duero is rich and full-bodied, sometimes austere, with lots of tannin and taut acidity.

History

Ribera del Duero has been a DO since 1982, when the area's harvest was almost exclusively processed by cooperatives. But then a meteoric rise ensued, described by Hugh Johnson as “the modern red wine miracle of northern Spain”. Today Ribera del Duero is a byword throughout the world for high-quality red wine.The best-known winery in the region, Vega Sicilia, has existed since 1860, but it was Alejandro Fernández who took on a pioneering role with his Pesquera winery in the 1980s.    He recognized the region's potential, and he had enormous success with his wines. His success encouraged many winegrowers to press and market the wine themselves. Today Ribera del Duero vies with Rioja and Priorat for the title of Spain's best wine region.

Geography

Ribera del Duero
The DO Ribera del Duero region is a broad plateau, 115 kilometres long and 35 kilometres wide, running through parts of four provinces on both sides of the Duero river. The soils and microclimates are correspondingly varied.

Climate

The climate is determined by altitude: 700 to 850 metres above sea level. The growing season is quite short, and frost is frequent in winter. In summer daytime temperatures reach 40°C, often cooling down to 12°C at night.

Wines

The typical Ribera del Duero is rich and full-bodied, sometimes austere, with lots of tannin and taut acidity. Many wines are vinified purely from Tempranillo, also known locally as Tinta del País or Tinta fina. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec and Garnacha (Grenache) are also used, but in most wines they are only a complement to Tempranillo.

Grape varieties

The traditional variety is Tempranillo. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Garnacha (Grenache) and the white Albillo grape are also approved for the whole region.

Vineyard area and production volume

20,000 hectares.
95,000 tonnes of grapes harvested in 2013.

Top wines from Ribera del Duero