I first went to Ribera del Duero in 1991, when there were around 75 wineries and 9,000 hectares of vineyards; there are now 307 bodegas and 24,000 hectares. Today, it is fully formed, more confident in itself, and firmly established as one of the great wine regions of the world. One of the most exciting things about the region is that it continues to evolve. Every year, I come across new bodegas, often run by talented young winemakers creating wines with focus, balance and a sense of place.
This report, based on an intensive, 11-day trip in September 2021, during which I tasted 537 wines from 149 bodegas (58 of which I visited in person), is the most complete overview of the region in English. As with all my reports, you’ll get in-depth background to the region, covering the history and some of the other factors which have shaped its course, as well as my own photographs of the leading wine producers and the landscape of the area. I’ve also done my own ‘classification’ of the leading bodegas, which will no doubt provoke some argument, and include my ‘podium’ celebrating the top wines and winemakers in the area.