For a proper, no-nonsense taste of spicy Spanish reds, look no further than Ribera Del Duero. Nestling on the banks of the River Duero, in the Castilian heartlands of North Central Spain, this up-and-coming region vies with its better-known cousin, Rioja, for the title of best producer of Spanish reds.
Thankfully, here at SmoothRed we love a plucky underdog. So we can’t help but sing the praises of this wonderful region from the rooftops (especially after a few glasses of its finest exports). It truly boasts all the finer things in life: world-renowned wines, fantastic local cuisine, stunning scenery and some of the friendliest, most hospitable locals you’ll ever come across.
The wines of Ribera Del Duero
Come for the red. Stay for… well, more of the red. Not to say there’s nothing else to Ribera Del Duero. But really, with wines this fine, what more do you need?
North and south of the Duero, 20,000 hectares of vineyards sweep majestically as far as the horizon. Across these limestone and sandy loam slopes, tempranillo grapes grow thick-skinned and tender under the intense Spanish sun.
Known locally as tinto fino or tinta del país, these grapes are used to produce powerful, full-bodied wines that still manage to retain their balance and elegance. So much so in fact that the region’s wines consistently gain astronomically high scores from critics across the globe. Of over 200 wineries across the region, a few to look out for are Emilio Moro, Valderiz, Vega Sicilia and Tinto Pesquera.
Fine cuisine and incredible hospitality
On your trip to Ribera Del Duero you’ll taste some of the finest lamb and pork in the world. Indeed, the capital of the region, Aranda de Duero, holds a Protected Geographical Indication (IGP) for its Lechazo Asado (roast suckling lamb).
Cooked in a wooden stove, this is perhaps the region’s most famous dish. And along with other local specialities like Sopa Castellana (Garlic Soup) and Pinchos de Chorizo and Morcilla (tapas with chorizo and blood sausage) you can look forward to trying it in many of the region’s incredibly friendly local restaurants.
Feed your mind as well as your stomach
As well as all that delicious cuisine, there’s also plenty to nourish the mind. The town of Peñafiel boasts a medieval plaza and a beautiful castle that now acts as a wine museum. And if you visit in August you might even catch a glimpse of the town’s very own mini version of the Pamplona Bull Run. Just be sure to bring your running shoes.
Elsewhere there are also opportunities to explore the labyrinth of wine cellars beneath the streets of Aranda de Duero. Originally designed to store the food and wine of the area, the cellars lie as deep as 40 feet underground and often play host to wine events.
Let us arrange your ideal wine tour of Ribera Del Duero
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We’ve got an array of Ribera Del Duero wine tours and self-drive tours to choose from. Or we’ll happily tailor a trip specifically to your needs.