In partnership with Castilla y Léon
Get to grips with Spain's largest wine-producing area, full of diverse terroirs and prestigious DOs...
Castilla y Léon encompasses some of Spain’s most memorable vistas, from its wild mountain ranges and sprawling plains to historic cities like Segovia and Salamanca.
Several Denominación de Origens (DOs) also sit within the area, including Ribera del Duero, Bierzo, Toro and Rueda.
Notably, Castilla y Léon produces Spain’s most extensive range of Vino de la Tierra wines, which can display the full creativity and experimentalism of the region’s winemakers.
Castilla y Léon covers the northern part of the Meseta Central, a complex geological formation that provides a host of interesting terroirs, ranging from rocky high-altitude vineyards to arid plains planted with old bush vines.
The climate is generally continental, providing short, hot and dry summers, but there’s a large diurnal range and stronger Atlantic influences in the northwest of the region.
Rain can be scarce but rivers provide some irrigation, particularly the Duero that meanders from east to west.
Ribera del Duero is Castilla y Léon’s most renowned wine region, making top Tempranillo wines that can rival Rioja. Its vineyards benefit from high altitudes with some planted higher than 850 metres above sea level. Its continental climate — bitterly cold winters, scorching summers — is preserved by the region’s encircling mountains.
Rueda arguably makes the best white wines within Castilla y Léon, made primarily from Verdejo. These dry wines are prized for their herbaceous and citrus flavours, as well as a refreshing acidity — often thanks to high-altitude vineyards with cooler temperatures. It was the first DO to be classified in the region back in 1980.
Bierzo is a small but prestigious DO in the northwestern corner of Castilla y Léon, bordering Galicia and Asturias. It has stronger Atlantic influences, creating a wetter and cooler climate than other parts of the region. Soils on the mountain slopes are rich in slate and granite. Bierzo is most renowned for white Godello and red or rosé Mencia wines.
Toro is famous for its powerful red Tempranillo wine, although its made from a local strain of the vine, called Tinta de Toro. The DO, classified in 1987, is named for the nearby town of Toro, which means ‘bull’ in Spanish. Its arid climate and sandy soils provided resistance against the European phylloxera outbreak, saving some strains of old ungrafted vines that are still grown here today.
Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y Léon – this appellation might sound like a mouthful but it’s worth remembering. Free from the tight restrictions of the DO system, these wines can include a number of international grape varieties – unconventional in this part of Spain – including Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Noir or Syrah. These wines can come from areas all over Castilla y Léon.
Regions across Castilla y Léon:
-D.O. RIBERA DEL DUERO
-D.O. TIERRA DE LEÓN
-D.O. TIERRA DE ZAMORA
-D.O. RIOJA (One producer)
-D.O.P. V.D.C VALLES DE BENAVENTE
-D.O.P. VINO DE CALIDAD SIERRA DE SALAMANCA
-D.O.P. VINO DE CALIDAD VALTIENDAS
-VINO DE LA TIERRA DE CASTILLA Y LEÓN
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