Ribera del Duero, located on a plateau by the banks of the Duero River, was named Wine Region of the Year 2012 by Wine Enthusiast Magazine. Its unique personality and rich history make it a must-visit for Spanish wine enthusiasts.
The region has produced wine for over 2000 years with proof lying in local Roman ruins. It produced the wine of kings and more recently the area has cultivated the grapes and conditions needed to create one of the world's most prestigious wines, Vega Sicilia, as well as classics like Pesquera and Pingus.
There are hundreds of wineries for all kind of fine wine as well as avant-garde architecture, impressive castles, monasteries and ancient, underground cellars.
These fine wines are produced thanks to the extreme climate with temperatures ranging from subzero in winter (January, February to over 35C in summer (July, August). When to travel is more about your personal preference - would you rather tour the vineyards or spend time tasting indoors? Of couse harvest, as in any other red wine region, is absolutely beautiful.
Perhaps avoid the August heat and if you want to travel over Christmas make sure you book with specialist operators well in advance as many wineries close.
Some people do a one day trip, but we think they are missing out... if you are really passionate about wine, we recommend you stay at least three nights for the fullest experience. If you come from Valladolid you can combine this with a day visit to the nearby world-famous Rueda D.O. or Cigales D.O.
Travel to Valladolid for delicious tapas and wine tasting, visit Mauro and the Golden Mile of Ribera del Duero which includes the renowned Vega Sicilia Wine Estate and Pingus.
Explore the town of Peñafiel, home to Protos, Winery of the Year 2013 by Wine and Spirits Magazine, and the nearby village of Pesquera de Duero. Discover Peñafiel Castle for stunning views and its impressive medieval architecture.
From Aranda you can head to the centre of the D.O to taste the traditional roasted suckling lamb or visit one of the underground cellars. Stop by the eastern part of the D.O. with its unique wines like Atauta, the gorgeous, mountainous landscapes and medieval towns.
And last but not least, wine tourists must visit the northern part of the D.O where the majority of vineyards lie. Wines produced here by wineries like Pago de Capellanes, Perez Pascuas, Valduero and Aalto are at the top of international wine lists. The landscape here is also different from the Golden Mile and wineries are further from the main roads for peace and tranquility.
Explore history in the abundance of beautiful castles and monasteries, visit at least one of the top avant-garde wineries like Protos, Portia, Cepa21,or Pago de los Capellanes, and the medieval underground cellars. You can combine this with golf (Lerma) or hunting (Arzuaga Navarro) for something more sporty.
Enjoy the unmissable tapas in Valladolid city centre as well as cooking lessons at the International Culinary School. Foodies can enjoy modern dining at MQ, Le Domaine and Cepa21 for Michelin starred meals and Molino de Palacios, Lagar de Isilla or Convento Las Claras for traditional local dishes.
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