Ribera’s earliest underground cellars, with their distinctive stone chimneys calledzarceras, were built in the 13th century in towns across the region and still serve to protect the wines from the extreme climate changes. The limestone caves, dug by hand, provide the perfect conditions for aging these fine wines. One of the best examples of these cellars is the 400 meter long wine storage cellar of Bodegas Ismael Arrouyo-Valsotillo in Sotillo de la Ribera.
Although the Denominación de Origen (D.O.) of Ribera del Duero, extending from Valladolid to Soria, has only been in existence since July 1982, starting with just eight wineries, winemaking in the region dates back more than 2000 years to the time of the Romans who had a settlement, Clunia, in what is now the small village of Baños de Valdearados in the province of Burgos.
The extremes of weather, from scorchingly hot summers with moderate to low rainfall and harsh, cold winters, combined with the unique soil conditions and higher elevation, create the ideal growing conditions for the Tempranillo (early-ripening) grape, known locally as Tinto Fino, or Tinta del País, but it is the great passion for producing great wines that make the Ribera del Duero so notable.
Exclusive 2, 3 & 5-day tours available March-November
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