Wine from Castile and León
Wine from Castile and León, a beautiful and high altitude Spanish wine-growing region, has a fine and elegant taste. In the heights of the rustic North Meseta, vines ripen which produce first-class wine. The wine from Castile and León meets very high quality standards and is often awarded with the designation of origin D.O.
Castles, bodegas, berries, ¡Bravo!: Castile and Leon
The self-governing Community of Castile-León can look back on a turbulent history. The medieval castles are particularly numerous in this Spanish landscape. This is why the Iberian region is also known as the land of castles. There are also numerous production areas that have been awarded the Denomination of Origin. Denominación de Origen (D.O.) is also a proof of quality for the cultivation of the vineyards and of course for the delicious wine. In the Bodegas of the Spanish winegrowers the grapes are vinified with love and care to produce quality wines. When you swirl, smell and then taste a deep red Tempranillo in your glass, you will immediately want to shout a hearty ¡Bravo! to the industrious winegrowers of Castile and Leon.
The Cigales wine region in Castile and León
Along the meandering, narrow Río Pisuerga, the vines of Cigales D.O. stand in the sun. The grapes ripen at an altitude of about 800 metres. The river supplies the soil with important nutrients. Here a beautiful scenery shows up. In the valley the smooth river Pisuerga flows and on some terraces the vines grow. Sunshine and a blue sky finally create a picturesque landscape. The Cigales wine region in Castile and Leon has been awarded the prestigious D.O. designation since 1991. It begins about 16 km north of Valladolid and has a vineyard area of about 2650 ha. The winegrowers in Cigales often cultivate Tempranillo and Garnacha. They also produce rosé wines, which are wonderfully refreshing for the hot and dry summers of Castile and Leon.
Tempranillo is a somewhat delicate blue berry that ripens early. It has recently been discovered that the most popular Spanish grape variety is a cross between Albillo Mayor and Benedicto. A Tempranillo is characterised by a rather high acidity. It is also very dark and aromatic at the same time. The alcohol content of about 12% is neither too low nor too high. Tempranillo is also from the D.O. in Castilla y León. Ribera del Duero and D.O. Toro.
White grape varieties from Castile and León
Although the main focus in Castile and León is on red wine, Spanish winegrowers also grow white grapes (blancos) in their vineyards. A selection of common white varieties:
- Sauvignon Blanc
Castile-León's popular white wine from Rueda
The D.O. Rueda in Castile and León is known above all for its first-class white wine. At an altitude of about 700 metres and along the Duero river, the winegrowers cultivate the white grape variety Verdejo. In the past, the wine region was not known for white wine at all. However, the red vines were completely destroyed by phylloxera in the 19th century. The specialisation in white grape varieties took place in the 1970s. Since then a rapid development can be observed. Because the winegrowers achieved very good results with Verdejo and other white varieties. Moreover, the aromatic wine is in a class of its own. And the winegrowers from this part of Castile and León are happy to present their results.
Toro viticulture in Castile and León
The Toro D.O. wine-growing area is situated in the centre of the autonomous community of Castile-León. The wine region of the province of Zamora is known for its excellent and outstanding red wines. Toro has been classified as a D.O. since 1987, which is accompanied by a significant increase in quality. Wine growing is also carried out here along the Duero river. The North Mesata plateau allows the cultivation of the mostly red grape varieties at an altitude of up to 750 m. Wine growing is carried out on just over 4,000 hectares. In the period around the millennium, viticulture in Toro had declined considerably. A few hundred hectares of vineyards were cultivated. In the meantime Toro is on the upswing again and knows how to convince with an amazingly high quality. The Tinta de Toro grape variety is particularly characteristic of the Castilian region. It is derived from the Tempranillo variety, but is smaller. In comparison, it is noticeable that the acidity of the Tinta de Toro is lower. The taste is more intense and the bouquet has a strong, room-filling character. Due to the high tannin content, this tasty grape variety appears in the glass in an almost black colour.
Castile and León
The autonomous community of Castile-Leon has the largest land area in Spain. North-western Castile-León consists of nine provinces. Valladolid is the most populous city, with a population of some 300 000, and is also the seat of government. The plateau Nordmeseta (500 - 1000 m.a.s.l.) is essential here. All around Castile and León is surrounded by mountains. The climate is continental - summers are hot and dry, winters long and cold. August has an average temperature of 30ºC a day, compared to 8ºC in January. From May to September there are at least ten hours of sunshine a day. The wine growing areas are mostly along the rivers or near the mountains. Numerous D.O.'s characterise Castilla y León, where red grape varieties are cultivated more frequently than others.
Things to know about wine from Castile and León
Which grape variety is commonly cultivated in Castile and León?
The red grape variety Tempranillo makes up the largest part of the total area under vines.
What are the names of other important grape varieties grown in Castile and León?
In addition to the Tempranillo vine, the red varieties Cabernet Sauvignon, Mencía, Malbec, Merlot and Garnacha are important and very common.
What are Vinos de la Tierra from Castile and León?
A so-called Vino de la Tierra is a wine from Castile and León whose quality level is lower than that of D.O. wines. Vinos de la Tierra are very good wines, but they do not have to undergo the strict quality controls and criteria.
Buy wine from Castile and León
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