DO Ribera del Duero

DO status awarded 1982.


The DO of Ribera del Duero lies 60km north of Madrid, running east to west along the river Duero valley from the town of Aranda de Duero in the east. The DO Ribera del Duero is situated within the province of Castille y León, which is also known as the ‘market garden’ of Spain.


At 700-1000m above sea level, this region is characterised by hot dry summers, wet autumns and short cold winters. In the summer, daytime temperatures can reach 40°C, but fall by around 15-20°C in the evening. This fluctuation is highly beneficial, allowing the vines to lie dormant at night, storing the necessary nutrients in readiness for when the fruit needs them most, during the hot daylight hours. This variation in temperature does mean however, that the vines are often exposed to frost in the spring and autumn months. It is estimated that there are around only 125 days a year (between June and September) when the growers can be certain that the vines will not be affected by frost.

The DO receives around 450-500mm of rainfall per annum (although hardly any falls during the summer months) and over 2000 hours of sunshine.


The Ribera del Duero valley offers an almost perfect soil structure for vine growing with loose, easily worked soils. Near the river the soils are alluvial with sand and clay. The vineyards on the slopes in the west of the region are generally planted on a mix of marl, gypsum and limestone, and in the east the soil comprises clay, marl and limestone.


Ribera del Duero is reputed to produce wines that can mature over a very long period of time. This is thought to be due to the effect the climate and terroir have on the Tinto del País grape, which appears to have more acidity and be less likely to oxidize than Tempranillo grapes grown elsewhere in Spain. A minimum of 75% Tinto del País must be used for wines to be recognized by the DO.

Permitted varieties of grape for the production of red wine are: Tinto del País, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec and Aragón.

Albillo is also a permitted variety where it is used for lightening rosados and red wines, but the DO does not permit the use of this grape in its recognized wines.

Consejo Regulador for DO Ribera del Duero

C/Hospital, 6
09300 Roa (Burgos)
Tel: +34 947 541221
Fax: +34 947 541116
Ribera del Duero

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