- Bodegas Vega Sicilia
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Bodegas Vega Sicilia
Established in the 1860s, Vega Sicilia were the first to plant vineyards in the north central region of Ribera del Duero, a plateau that is known for its dry, sunny weather and cool nights. The combination of their traditional winemaking style, their exceptional terroir and respect for high quality has garnished them a place amongst the greatest wine estates in the world. Part of their uniqueness is imparted in their vinification/ageing methods. Fermented and aged in wooden vats, Único is then transferred into new barrels of both American and French origin before being furthered aged in older (and predominantly American) oak barrels and then finished in 180 HL wooden vats before being bottled. The total ageing time is between 6 - 9 years in both wood and bottle. This requires a huge investment in both time, dedication and money. Since 1982, the estate has been owned by the Álvarez family. They have been instrumental in guaranteeing their wines' high quality and reputation. In addition to their original estate, Vega Sicilia also own Alión, another Ribera del Duero, and Pintia, a top Toro, both of which are made with more modern methods (and with 100% tempranillo) though they still remain elegant and pure.
Heading towards the Portuguese border to the far west of the River Duero lies Toro. These high altitude vineyards (600 - 750 meters) span the banks of the river on dry stony soils. Tinta de Toro is the local variant of Tempranillo which used to produce rich alcoholic wines. Awarded DO status in 1987, it was in the mid-1990s that the region's potential was spotted. Since then the number of bodegas has rocketted and there has been major investment which clearly shows in the end result. Ripe, fruity and distinctly Spanish these are mini-Riberas!