Northern Spanish town, Aranda de Duero is 2022 European wine city

by Lorraine Williamson
Aranda de Duero wine cave

The network of European wine cities Recevin decided this week that Aranda de Duero, capital of the famous Spanish wine region Ribera del Duero, will remain European wine city in 2022. Due to the pandemic, the title has been extended by one year.

Aranda de Duero requested the extension itself. Everyone understands that travelling between countries is not possible and that no mass events can be organised. Our request has therefore been granted,’ explained Olga Maderuelo, Councillor for Promotion, Tourism and Innovation. The councillor attended the Recevin meeting together with Raquel Gonzalez, Mayor of Aranda de Duero. 

Portugal and Italy years later 

Gonzalez welcomed the extension and said that the European Wine City in 2023 will be a Portuguese city. Which city that will be will be announced in July in Aranda de Duero. In 2024, the title will be awarded to an Italian city. The title has been moved forward a year for both countries.  

National and international interest in Aranda de Duero

‘Where possible, we will try to organise events in 2021, taking into account the health measures. However some events we will have to postpone. This includes the Envero Wine Fair and the viticulture course, when we invite wine growers from other countries,’ Maderuelo acknowledged. She expressed her confidence in the events that can take place in Aranda de Duero this year ‘will increase interest in our town. As well as the whole of the Ribera, both among the national and international public’. 

Other promotional tools are also being used to raise the profile of Aranda de Duero. ‘We are continuing with promotional actions, such as recording programmes. We have already made a few and will continue to do so, both on national and international television,’ says Maderuelo. 

About Ribera del Duero

In the heart of northern Spain, 120 kilometres north of Madrid and on the Duero River, lies the wine region of Ribera del Duero. This is where the distinctive and powerful wines are made.  

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The wines from Ribera del Duero owe much to the area’s climate. Winters are extremely cold, and summers are hot.  Additionally, the growing season for the wines is relatively short, with 171 to 198 days. In the capital, Aranda de Duero, ancient underground cellars are connected by a system of corridors that are up to 12 metres deep.  

The vineyards are situated at an average altitude of 800 metres. This mix of high altitude and continental climate with Atlantic and Mediterranean influences create difficult conditions for the grape to grow. However, it benefits the taste of the wines.  

The rise of the area

Ribera del Duero is one of the five DO areas (Denominación de Origen; a legally protected designation of origin) in Castilla y León. The area only received DO status in 1982. Meanwhile, this relatively young DO-region produces some of the most sought-after Spanish wines of excellent quality.  It also has some 270 wineries, including the renowned Spanish wineries Vega Sicilia and Pesquera. After La Rioja, Ribera del Duero is the largest producer of quality Spanish wines. 

Grape varieties 

The area is known for its complex, tannic red wines.  They are primarily made from tinto fino or tinta del país (the local name for the tempranillo grape). The wines from Ribera del Duero must be made from at least 75% Tempranillo. In addition, the grape varieties cabernet sauvignon, malbec, merlot and grenache may also be used. 

Read more about the history of the area and the wines here.

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