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Ribera Del Duero and Rueda Wines

In April, we attended a wine tasting in Washington, DC that focused on two wine regions in northern Spain’s Castilla y León plains area. The wine regions are Ribera del Duero D.O. and Rueda D.O. The wine tasting took place at the delightful Barcelona Wine Bar.

Ribera del Duero D.O. is close to the Douro River that makes its way to the Atlantic Ocean past Porto, Portugal. The region became a D.O. in 1982. The climate in this region of Spain is unseasonable with very hot summers and very cold winters. The soil consists of sand, clay, marl, and limestone. This is where the well known Tempranillo grape grows so well and makes up 95% of the vineyards in Ribera del Duero. Many of the grapevines in this region are more than 50 years old with a few being more than 100 years old. It should be said that locally the Tempranillo is known as Tinto Fino. In the wineries, the Tempranillo wines are aged in American, French and Eastern European oak. The Tempranillo wine colors are dark red to purple colors. Aroma and taste notes include vanilla, spice and fruit. Many of the wines tend to be full bodied. Food pairing suggestions include: grilled foods including pizza, aged cheese, roast pork and lamb.

Rueda D.O. southwest of the Ribera del Duero, D.O., is also near the Douro River. It is interesting to discover that in Castilla y León Rueda was the first D.O. approved, two years before Ribera del Duero became a D.O. Today the Ruedo D.O. region has 70 wineries. The soil in this region is rocky with minerals. The diurnal temperature swings are 50º. Rueda D.O. is becoming known for the Verdejo grape wines. The temperature variation allows for the Verdejo grapes to attain a balance of acidity and sugar. Typically, harvest takes place at night. The Verdejo wines are variations of a straw color. Aroma and taste notes include peach and citrus. The Verdejo wines are refreshing and there is no need to wonder why this is one of Spain’s favorite white wines. Food pairing suggestions include spicy foods, fresh cheese, seafood and salads.

Watch for a future blog about wines we tasted from Ribera del Duero and Rueda.


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