Green light for the white Ribera del Duero
Amsterdam, 16 October 2019 - An important step in the still young history of the DO Ribera del Duero: Within the well-known Spanish denominación de origen for red and rosé quality wines, white wines from the Albillo Mayor grape can now also be made. These wines have until now been released as vino de la tierra, but may now be marketed under the brand name Ribera del Duero.
The Albillo Mayor grape
A recent change in the DO legislation allows the wineries in Ribera del Duero to now market white wines under the quality label in addition to red and rosé wines. The white Riberas must consist of at least 75% Albillo Mayor, which may be supplemented with other native white grapes. In practice, however, most white Ribera del Duero wines will be 100% Albillo. Albillo has been planted in Ribera del Duero since the Middle Ages and is one of the permitted varieties for red and rosé wines as a supplement to the tinto fino (tempranillo).
Generous and versatile like the Spaniards themselves
The character of the Albillo grape is sometimes compared by winemakers to that of the Spaniard himself: at first glance a bit tricky and impenetrable, but very generous and versatile if you get to know him better. At the moment 500 hectares have been planted with Albillo Mayor in the wine region and there are 30 producers who make a white wine from Albillo. Producers wishing to use the DO Ribera del Duero label for their white wines must first have their wines checked and approved by the DO Consejo Regulador.
About Ribera del Duero
Ribera del Duero, which literally means bank on the Duero (river in northern Spain), is one of the most renowned Spanish wine regions. The wine-growing region covers around 23,200 hectares, has 315 wine companies, 8,148 grape growers and is located in the heart of northern Spain, 120 kilometers above Madrid. The vineyards are located at 700 to 1,000 meters above sea level and there is an extreme climate with very hot summers and ice-cold winters. The difference between day and night temperatures is huge. As a result, the grapes develop full and complex aromas. In 2012, the region was voted the best wine region of the year. The wines from the DO Ribera del Duero distinguish themselves by their high quality and limited production.
Want to read more about this region? Read my blog post