Ribera del Duero – where tradition meets modernity
Within wine globalization in the second half of the 20th century, in some places, long viticulture and old tradition began to fade away in the name of profit. Old vineyards owned by families were bought by large concerns and grubbed up to be replaced by young wine grapes and get more fruits for production and therefore greater efficiency. This change obviously also affected wine quality and dissembled tradition preserving.
Fortunately, there are still some wineries that stayed away from this trend. One of the regions that can pride themselves on wineries that stayed within the family tradition is Spanish Ribera del Duero.
Ribera del Duero wines are becoming a huge trend all over the world now – and there is a reason for that. The new generation of producers of Ribera D.O. managed to find a perfect balance between cultivating their grandparents’ tradition and following new trends, creating the highest quality world-class wines.
So, what is different about them and to what those wines owe their uniqueness?
Focus on quality
Ribera winemakers highly respect their product, so all grapes are hand-picked and a lot of wineries decide on the lowest interaction possible, making their wines also more ecological. Focus on the grape rather than production quantity is crucial to keep wine’s taste at the highest level. Avoiding automation, Ribera producers preserve their heritage, conquering wine lovers’ hearts with taste authenticity and a rich story hidden in each bottle.
A new look at the family tradition
Back in the day, at the beginning of the 21st century, most Spanish wines were identified by very noticeable, strong wooden aromas, being a result of the evident use of new oak. This practice was used mostly to garner high Parker points, following then trends set by France.
Nowadays wineries want to remember their roots, but also to deliver the best quality product which answers customers' demand. That’s why many winemakers are optimizing for balance over the power, with more subtle and conscious use of oak maturation. Therefore old stereotype about Spanish wine being strongly oaked, with very noticeable wooden aromas is displaced by new, more refreshing and light wines.
The trend of high-altitude vineyards as an indirect effect of climate change, led by search of lower sugar concentration and a longer growing season for a slower maturation is something Ribera has been answering for years. Temperature extremes and insolation resulted in thick-skinned, rich taste grapes, giving an inimitable wine experience.