Introduction

By Paul Caputo

Situated in northwestern Spain, Castilla y Léon is the largest autonomía (autonomous region) in the country. Castilla y León is known for its traditional beauty, plentiful fortifications, and historical importance. This area was dubbed the Kingdom of Castles due to hundreds of forts, castles, and patrolled walls defining the landscape.

Castilla y León has been home to princes, noblemen, intellectuals, artists, and brilliant military minds since the Romans constructed the famed Segovian Aqueduct. The oldest university in Europe has held classes in Salamanca since 1134 (Universidad de Salamanca) and the Duero River (Douro in Portugal) has been a perennial causeway to transport goods. By maintaining a foothold in the united kingdoms of Castilla and León, Ferdinand and Isabella successfully finished their Reconquista of Spain in 1492.

Appellations of Castilla y Léon

Arribes DO

Granted Denominación de Origen status in 2007, Arribes covers a narrow strip of Spain’s Castilla y Léon region, skirting the banks of the Duero river. The distinct geology and topography of the area produces red wines classified as Tinto Joven, Crianza, Reserva or Gran Reserva. Along with the local favourite, Juan García, other prominent grapes include Tempranillo, Garnacha and Rufete. White wines produced under the Arribes DO label must comprise at least 60% Malvasía Castellana.

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Bierzo DO

Home to light, fresh red wines from the Mencia grape that boast plenty of Atlantic ocean influence. White wines are also made, often from Palomino and Godello.

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Ribera del Duero DO

Ribera del Duero is one of the most important red wines in Spain. Produced from a majority of Tempranillo, known locally as Tinto Fino, these wines are capable of developing for many years.

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Rueda DO

Rueda is home the Verdejo grape, where is gives fresh, aromatic white wines.

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