This Spanish wine region of 11,500 hectares, situated at the centre of a square formed by Burgos, Madrid, Valladolid, and Soria, makes the best and most expensive wine of Spain. Many will have heard of Vega Sicilia, but just as in France there is both Mouton and Lafite Rothschild, there are also countless superb bodegas to discover in this region. Ribera del Duero is ideally suited for the making of quality wines, with its favourable soil, climate, and use of the best grapes. The economic strength of the region has also played its part for it is far easier to find people ready to invest in a wealthy area than a poor one and there is then also a more ready market at hand for more expensive wines.
This is the newest DO of Spain (1997) located in Extremadura, the region which borders on Portugal, in the extreme west of central Spain. Wine had already been exported from this area for some years under the name of the Tierra de Barros sub-region of Ribera del Guadiana.
Renewal has also won the day in Extremadura. It had seemed as though Extremadura would forever remained linked with past glories of towns such as Badajoz, Câceres, and Trujillo, renowned from the past history of the sixteenth and seventeenth century conquistadors. The landscape here is attractive, hilly, soft, and green, but there are also high plateaux which are the domain of agriculture and cattle breeders. The economy of Extremadura once relied on the income from cork and the output of the olive trees but with drastic renovation of the Spanish wine-growing hopes for a better economic future have also grown.