Established in 1982, the appellation Ribera del Duero
is in the valley of the Douro river, south of the province of Burgos (an autonomous region of Castile and León), on the great plateau of northern Spain.
The terroir here is mainly sandy and loamy sediment with alternating layers of limestone and marly concretions. The topography is relatively flat, with vineyards sitting at 750 to 850 meters (2,460 to 2,789 feet) altitude on hills that can reach up to 900 meters (2,953 feet). This region enjoys a climate that is at once continental and Mediterranean, with moderate rain that forces the vines to send their roots deep into the ground and a temperature range of -18°C (0°F) in the winter to over 40°C (105°F) in the summer.
Tempranillo, the king of Spanish grapes, is the principal player in Ribera del Duero wines. They may also include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Grenache Noir, and Albillo. The great majority of these wines are red, with a tiny production of rosé. They are organized according to élevage into four distinct classes: Joven, Crianza, Reserva, and Gran Reserva. This appellation is responsible for some of the best Spanish wines, the most famous and prized of which is undoubtedly Pingus, produced by Bodega Dominio de Pingus. Other excellent producers include Bodegas Lara Ortiz, Bodega Montecastro, Bodega Vega Sicilia, and Bodega Valtravieso.