2. The Duero River.
Duero river is a wine production area of Castilla y León. The remarkable Duero River offers shelter to some of Spain’s greatest wine regions. It originates high in the Sierra de Urbión, at the top of the Sistema Ibérico, and 600 km later empties into the Atlantic at Oporto, the city in Portugal that gives its name to a famous fortified wine. Descriptions of the river (spelled Douro in Portugal) along which Port is produced include terms such as remote, inaccessible, and difficult, but recall that the Port region is downriver of Spain’s Duero River wine regions.
If Portugal’s remote Douro River is downriver, then those Duero River Spanish vineyards are very high in elevation indeed (most of them located at 800 metters altitude but we can find vineyards at 1100 meters of altitude). That altitude brings advantages, such as long and cool growing conditions and cool–to–cold night time temperatures that preserve acidity, but also challanges for winemkaers—there will be vintages in which the wines don’t ripen properly, so is for this important to know the year of the wine.
Some of Spain’s old and beautiful architecture is rooted in the Duero River valley, and the region's most famous estate, Vega Sicilia, exudes an air that seems older than its mid-nineteenth–century roots. It’s not that the winemaking is traditional or that the winery is antique. Some of the buildings are old and striking, but inside those doors, the winery is as ultramodern as any in the world.
But the ancient pervades: the aqueducts at Segovia offer evidence of a Roman presence, and vinous artifacts abound. Napoleon's troops perished on these fields during the war of Independence; El Cid fought for Spain's unification here as well. Now wheat fields and sugar beet plantations alternate with the vines; the breadbasket and the Ribera del Duero, Rueda and Toro vineyards lie together from Valladolid to Zamora to Segovia. High elevation viticulture this may be, but the region is still nestled between two mountain ranges: in the south, stand the Sierra de Guadarrama and Sierra de Gredos; to the north are the protective barriers of the Sierras de la Demanda and Sierra de Cantábria.
Best of Spain visit Rueda, Toro and Ribera del Duero and the Ultimate Winemaking Experience is run in this regions, If you would like to join this unique Experiences please request more information filling in the booking enquiry form.
The Wine Regions of Spain
1. The Ebro River Valley
Although the Ebro river actually runs though various regions from Cantabria to Valencia, the DOs gathered in this macro wine region are mainly located in the provinces of La Rioja, Álava, Navarra, Huesca and Zaragoza.
The hills, valleys, nooks, and crannies among these mountains hold nearly endless opportunity. For now, the money remains focused upon Rioja wine, the traditional area of quality, with bet hedgers looking toward Borja Garnacha wine and Cariñena wines, the traditional area of quantity.
In the foothills of the Sistema Ibérico, the less–known and limestone–rich DOs of Campo de Borja, Calatayud, and Cariñena offer excellent value and sometimes great wines too, if only from a handful of focused producers at the moment.
This is the ancient kingdom of Aragón, and if it's where Tempranillo has staked its historical claim, it's also where Garnacha began its rule. There are plenty of rivers, (Rioja is named for one of them—Río Oja) but it's the Ebro River around which this particular winedom is built. And it's the Ebro River that provides common kinship, despite the changing landscape and climate as you roll from the relatively protected carat-shaped duchy of Rioja down to the smaller fiefdoms of Campo de Borja, Calatayud, and Cariñena. Not surprisingly, Garnacha prospers in hotter, drier spots, while Tempranillo's more delicate constitution is maintained in cooler, mountainous perches in Rioja. Cariñena, the grape, has only recently returned to Cariñena, the DO, but it was wildly popular for a time in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries because of its abilities to produce significant alcohol in even more significant quantities.
Once upon a time, the French were rather thirsty customers, though one can search the records in vain for any proof that those French wine drinkers knew they were drinking bottles with Spanish wine in them. During that time, yields could be obscenely high, but like much of Spain, the focus is now upon quality, not quantity.
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