We came looking for Tempranillo.
2 days. Thats how long it takes jet lag to wear off.
2hours. Thats what it took to drive from Madrid to Ribera del Duero.
If you are one who loves Spanish wines, you probably know about this place. If not, no worries. We can fix that.
If Spain is a square piece of paper (When we talk more about Spain and Spanish wines, we will keep returning to this square), Madrid is at the center of this square.
The Ribera del Duero (RdD)is a swath of land 2 hours north of Madrid, running East to West along the river Duero.
On the eastern end are the towns of Soria and Aranda de Duero and the western end is the old Spanish capital, Valladolid. Penafiel with it’s majestic castle is in the middle of this winding ribbon of land.
It is a long valley and the terrain for most part is harsh. I remarked to somebody once that “Grapes are like people. If they live an easy life, they have no personality. It’s the ones that struggle and suffer that make interesting wines.” And the vines suffer here. More on that later.
The wines of RdD varies quite a bit across this valley, all delicious but slightly different depending on which part of the valley it’s grown and the kinds of soil etc. But the common element is the grape. Tempranillo is king here!