If you’re headed to Madrid and want to explore the incredible wineries in Ribero del Duero, Spain this post is for you!
We love going on wine tasting trips as we travel to see how the different terroir, climate, and winemaking practices change from region to region. In the summer of 2023, we spent two weeks sipping wine in the heart of Ribera del Duero wine country.
Each Ribera del Duero wine we tasted blew us away and quickly made Ribera del Duero one of our favorite wine regions in the world!
Today, we’re sharing our experience of wine tasting in Ribero del Duero along with recommendations from our local friends and family about the 10 best wineries in Ribera del Duero, Spain.
This guide will help you understand why Ribero del Duero wine country is worth visiting, but also what to expect at a Ribero del Duero wine tasting, where to stay, and of course the top 10 wineries to visit in Ribera del Duero.
🍷 Now, grab a glass of your favorite vino tino (red wine), and get ready for an epic weekend of wine tasting in Spanish wine country!
Table of Contents
- About Ribera del Duero wine
- Best time to visit Ribera del Duero Spain
- What to expect from a Ribera del Duero Wine Tasting
- How to get to Ribero del Duero
- Where to stay in Ribera del Duero
- 10 Top Wineries in Ribera del Duero
- Amazing Ribera del Duero wineries you can’t visit
- The best wineries in Ribera del Duero map
About Ribera del Duero wine
Ribera del Duero wine region is situated in the heart of Castilla y León, a province in the center of Spain. It spans approximately 115 kilometers from east to west and boasts nearly 22,500 hectares of vineyards with a history of winemaking that dates back to the 11th century.
One of the main reasons Ribera del Duero is considered top quality is due to the area’s extreme climate. The region’s high elevation brings warm days followed by very cold nights resulting in temperature swings of 20 degrees (°C) or more within a single day.
Add in this area’s old vines from centuries of winemaking and mineral-rich soil and you have an ideal environment for producing acidic, well-balanced red wines from grapes such as Tempranillo, Merlot, Syrah, and Cabernet. However, the tempranillo grape is what this region is best known for.
To receive the denomination stamp for Ribera del Duero, a wine must be at least 75% tempranillo. The remaining portion can be mixed with other varietals like Merlot, Syrah, and Cabernet. However, most wineries in Ribera del Duero produce 100% tempranillo wine. 🍇
Wines in Ribera del Duero are required to follow strict cultivation and labeling procedures outlined by the D.O., or “Denominación de Origen”. The four categories of wine you can find here are:
- Joven: Joven is Spanish for young. These young wines have been aged for 15 months or less. Sometimes this includes a few weeks of aging in an oak barrel but it is not a requirement. Joven wines have a bolder flavor with more tannins on the front.
- Crianza: Aged 2 years at minimum in the bottle and 6 months or less in an oak cask.
- Reserva: Aged 3 years in total with 2 years in the bottle and 1 year in an oak cask.
- Gran Reserva: Aged 5 years in total with 3 years in the bottle and 2 years in an oak cask.
Best time to visit Ribera del Duero Spain
Summer is the most popular time to visit Ribera del Duero wineries, but it doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the best time. It’s not uncommon for temperatures to reach 40°C, around 102 – 104°F in peak summer (July and August). The extreme heat makes it a less-than-ideal time to visit, however, most wineries will remain open.
The best time to visit Ribera del Duero wine country is in late spring or early fall. September to October is harvest season. This is a fun time to visit Ribera del Duero wineries because you can see lush, ripe grapes hanging on the vine and lots of hustle and bustle as the winemaking process begins.
Some smaller wineries will close their tasting doors during harvest season because they are short-staffed. Always check the winery hours for any closures before planning a wine tasting weekend in Ribera del Duero, Spain.
What to expect from a Ribera del Duero Wine Tasting
Most Ribera del Duero bodegas (wineries) are open during the daytime only from 10 or 11 am to 1 or 2 pm. Make sure to check the hours of each winery before visiting. The weekends (Thursday through Monday) are the most popular times for visitors to go wine tasting here.
📞 Many wineries in Ribera del Duero require reservations for a tasting, even on weekends. You can make reservations on the winery website or sometimes by sending a WhatsApp message to the winery directly.
Most wineries in Ribera del Duero charge for a wine tasting regardless if you buy a bottle or case of wine. Expect to pay 15€ to 80€+ per tasting. To keep costs down, Dennis and I would split our tastings and then buy a bottle of our favorite wine to go, which is acceptable here.
How to get to Ribero del Duero
You can easily get to Ribero del Duero in an hour to two hours’ drive from Madrid, making it the perfect day trip or wine-tasting weekend from the city.
The easiest way to get to Ribero del Duero from Madrid is to rent a car or take a guided tour. Most Ribera del Duero wineries are a five to ten-minute drive from each other, at minimum. Having your own vehicle makes it much easier to get to each wine tasting.
If you don’t want to rent a car or don’t have an international license, something that is required to drive in Spain, the best way to go on a Ribera del Duero wine tour is in a group tour.
🍷 I highly recommend this wine tour to Ribera del Duero with Get Your Guide. Not only do you get to visit three wineries on their guided bus but you don’t have to worry about drinking and driving.
You can take a bus from Madrid to Peñafiel which is where we recommend you stay during your visit. To find out bus details and departure times from Madrid or Peñafiel go to the Avanza Bus website directly. Tickets cost ~10€ and only operate on the weekends. You’ll still need to secure a taxi to get from winery to winery.
You can check out other popular tours to do in Madrid and the nearby area below.
Where to stay in Ribera del Duero
Since this wine region covers a large area you have several options for where to stay in Ribera del Duero. Most of the towns in Ribera del Duero are small villages home to 10,000 people or less.
Burgos and Valladolid are the largest cities near Ribera del Duero Spain. They are great cities with a lot to do and see individually but we love the charm of staying in a small village in Ribera del Duero.
⚜️ We recommend staying in a village on or near the “Golden Mile”. This 15km road stretches from Peñafiel to Tudela de Duero and is where you can find the most well-known and world-renowned wineries of Ribera del Duero, Spain.
Our top pick for hotels in Ribera del Duero is Peñafiel. This is one of the larger towns in the heart of Ribera del Duero and has the AZZ Peñafiel Las Claras Hotel & Spa to stay at. This luxury hotel has a nice pool, indoor spa, and restaurant and is built in an old convent. Peñafiel is also home to a stunning medieval castle with a wine museum inside it.
Another option is to stay at Hotel AF Pesquera in Pesquera del Duero, Spain. This tiny town is just a 15-minute drive from Peñafiel but is home to the most wineries and tasting rooms than any other town.
It’s a very small town though, which does not have a lot of options for restaurants which is why we prefer Peñafiel. However, this hotel is wonderful and gives you access to close to 20 different wineries.
If you are looking for a unique hotel in Ribera del Duero, stay at Residencia Real del Castillo de Curiel. Curiel is a 10-minute drive from Peñafiel and a stunning medieval town. It was our favorite small village we visited in this region packed with so much history. At the top of the hill, there is an old castle turned into a luxury hotel.
10 Top Wineries in Ribera del Duero
There are roughly 300 different wineries in Ribera del Duero to visit and more than 25 Michelin-rated restaurants to enjoy. Meaning there is no shortage of places to visit for great wine and food.
The 10 wineries shared here are among the list of best wineries in Ribera del Duero to visit. They have received multiple awards for their wine making and have become well-known for their wines and outstanding tasting rooms. A * indicates the winery uses organic or sustainable practices in their winemaking.
1. Bodegas Valduero*
Bodegas Valduero is one of the most prestigious wineries in Ribera del Duero. This family-owned and operated winery began in 1984 just two years after the D.O. was incepted. As one of the first wineries in the region as Ribera del Duero was making a name for itself it helped shape the quality and flavor profile of Ribera.
Its tasting room and estate are stunning. Built in a series of tunnels the bodega was built with sustainability at the forefront of its design. The building needs very little outside energy because of its natural cooling systems.
Must-try wines from Bodegas Valduero are Una Cepa, 6 Años, 12 Años, and La Antigua. The tasting includes 5 wines and a small appetizer and costs 85€ / ~ $93 per person and reservations are required (reserve here).
2. Abadía Retuerta
Abadía Retuerta was voted one of the top 50 wineries in the world in 2023 by the World’s Best Vineyards. This luxury estate also has a Michelin Star restaurant (Refrectorio) and a full spa and hotel alongside the winery.
The property was an old monastery that dates back to the 12th century. It has been beautifully restored preserving its history and charm.
You can enjoy a simple wine tasting here or opt for a full day of pampering at its spa or high-end restaurant. They also offer a full-day tour of the property in a 4×4 vehicle, an e-bike rental with a picnic in the vineyards, or an opportunity to participate in the harvest.
Must-try wines from Abadía Retuerta are 10º X Aniversario, Petit Verdot, and Garnacha. The tasting includes 3 wines and costs 80€ / ~ $87 per person and reservations are required (reserve here).
3. Dominio de Cair
Dominio de Cair is a winery in Ribera del Duero from famed winemaker, Juan Luis Cañas. Cañas is a successful winemaker in the Rioja region who expanded in Ribera del Duero in 2008. The winery recently expanded its tasting room so it can welcome more guests (in style might I add).
Must-try wines from Dominio de Cair are Pendón de La Aguilera (reserve), Tierras de Cair, and Cair Cuvée (joven). The tasting begins with an aperitif served al fresco, followed by a tasting of a couple Dominio de Cair wines directly straight from the barrel. See the website for reservations and pricing.
4. Viña Pedrosa
Viña Pedrosa’s official name is Bodegas Hnos. Pérez Pascuas. This family-owned and operated winery has been in operation since 1980. Located near Burgos in the small town of Pedrosa de Duero, Viña Pedrosa doesn’t have as fancy of a wine-tasting room as some of the others on the list. But it doesn’t mean it’s wine isn’t worth tasting.
Having 120 hectares of vines on the property, this winery produces around 600,000 bottles annually.
Must-try wines from Viña Pedrosa are their crianza and reserva wines. There are three tastings to choose from. The most basic offers a tasting of two wines (ranging from Crianza to Reserva) and costs 15€ – 23€ / ~ $16 – $25 per person. Reservations are recommended (reserve here).
Alato’s official name is Entrada-Camino Aalto Bodegas y Viñedos. The winery started off as the brainchild of Mariano Garcia and Javier Zaccagnini before joining forces with well-known winemaking families in Spain, Masaveu and Nozaleda. Its original bodega was located near Burgos, but as the company expanded it opened a new state-of-the-art wine tasting room near Valladolid.
Must-try wines from Aalto are Aalta (its namesake), Blanco de Parcela, and PS. The tasting includes the PS and Aalto wines and reservations are required (reserve here). Prices are not disclosed.
6. Bodega Pago de Carraovejas*
Bodega Pago de Carraovejas is a unique winery because it’s not centered solely around its amazing wine, but also its incredible food. Started by Sommelier, José María Ruiz the goal of Bodega Pago de Carraovejas is to pair wine with food showcasing the flavors and quality of each synchronistically.
Its sister restaurant, Ambivium has a Michelin Star restaurant and offers its visitors a dining experience like no other. The restaurant almost exclusively uses vegetables grown from its organic garden. One star item on the menu is cochinillo (roasted suckling pig) which is from its own pasture-raised pigs. This winery is coveted by Spanish wine lovers but isn’t as well-known by visitors from outside the country.
Must-try wines from Bodega Pago de Carraovejas are El Anejón and Tinto. There are three tastings to choose from that costs 62€ – 92€ / ~ $67 – $100 per person. Reservations are required (reserve here).
Protos is one of the most well-known wineries in all of Spain. This bodega is distributed in dozens of countries across the world and helped put Ribera del Duero on the map as a world-class wine region. Located in the heart of Peñafiel underneath the castle, its prime location in the city makes it one of the most visited wineries in Ribera del Duero.
Must-try wines from Protos are Protos 27, Roble, and the Reserva. There are two tastings to choose from that come with three to four wines to try. It costs 25€ – 35€ / ~ $28 – $38 per person depending on the tasting and reservations are required (reserve here).
8. Bodegas Emilio Moro
Bodegas Emilio Moro is a family-owned and operated winery in Pesquera del Duero that has been in operation for over 100 years. It’s now on its third generation of winemakers in the family and produces really great wines made for everyday drinking.
This winery is one of the most famous in this region and can be found in most major cities across the country. It’s also the owner of Cepa21, one of our noteworthy wineries to visit in Ribera del Duero that’s not included in the top 10 list.
Must-try wines from Bodegas Emilio Moro are the “Emilio Moro wine” (their flagship tempranillo), Malleolus, and Vedimia. There are four tastings to choose from that cost 35€ – 100€ / ~ $38 – $109 per person. The most expensive pairings also come with a gastronomic experience. Reservations are required for any of the tastings (reserve here).
9. Tinto Pesquera
Tinto Pesquera is the flagship winery for the Fernández Rivera family, which now includes three other wineries and labels across Spain. Two of its four labels are grown in Ribera del Duero which are Tinto Pesquera and Condado de Haza. You can visit both wineries individually, but we opted to visit Tinto Pesquera which is in Pesquera del Duero.
This is another family-owned and operated winery that has been in operation since 1972. It’s also one of the few completely women-owned wineries in Ribera del Duero (owned and operated by 5 sisters). Its other labels, Dehesa de la Granja are grown in Zamora and El Vínculo is grown in Castille-La Mancha.
Must-try wines from Tinto Pesquera and Condado de Haza are their crianza and reserva wines. Tastings are done by the glass, so you can build your own experience (which we loved). You can visit any time during visiting hours but reservations are recommended (reserve here).
10. Bodega Convento Oreja*
Bodega Convento Oreja was probably our favorite winery in Ribera del Duero that we visited. This small winery isn’t as well-known as some of the others on the list but produces fantastic wines. It’s another family-owned-and-operated winery about 15 minutes from Peñafiel. We visited with our friend Mari Paz, who is a part-owner of the winery.
The name Convento Oreja (Ear Convent) comes from the name of an old convent, Convento de Santa María de Oreja, in the town the owners grew up in. The convent walls were torn down and used to build the AZZ Peñafiel Las Claras Hotel & Spa in Peñafiel.
Must-try wines from Bodegas Convento Oreja are their Crianza and Memoria Reserva wines. There is only one wine tasting to choose from that is offered on Saturdays only. The tasting costs 20€ / ~$22 per person and reservations are required (reserve here).
Amazing Ribera del Duero wineries you can’t visit
Unfortunately, several prestigious wineries aren’t available for the public to visit. Two of which are the best wineries in Ribera del Duero, and arguably the best winemakers in all of Spain.
If you are at a restaurant in the area or headed to a specialty shop see if you can buy a bottle or try a glass of Bodega Vega Sicilia or Ausas Bodegas & Viñedos since they cannot be visited without special invitations.
Bodega Vega Sicilia
Bodega Vega Sicilia is revered for being the best wine producer in all of Spain. Its estate has more than 1,000 hectares of vines and has been in operation since 1864. The winery, which is run by the Alvarez family today, uses one of the most stringent procedures for selecting its grapes ensuring only the best crop of the year is made into wine.
Its wine is aged for a minimum of five years, often ten or more before being available for sale. Its high standards for harvesting, making, and aging wine each year means its production is limited. Expect to spend several hundred dollars for a bottle of Vega Sicilia. Must-try wines from Bodega Vega Sicilia are Valbuena (joven wine) and Unico.
Ausas Bodegas & Viñedos
Ausas Bodegas & Viñedos was one of the best wines we tasted during our two-week trip here. Right now, there is only one wine to try from Ausas called Interpretación.
Xavier Ausàs worked as a part of the Vega Sicilia wine group for nearly 25 years before starting his own winery. His wine is built upon three pillars: aromatic purity, freshness, and elegant tannic manifestation. He achieves this by working carefully with each terroir plot to ensure it creates the quality and flavor profile he desires.
The best wineries in Ribera del Duero map
These are some of the best wineries in Ribera del Duero, but not the only ones worth visiting. There are so many fantastic small family-owned winemakers who are creating fantastic wines but don’t get the same recognition as the larger wineries here.
🍇 Other noteworthy wineries in Ribera del Duero are Finca Villacreces, Bodegas Hacienda Monasterio, Viña Sastre, Bodega y Viñedos Pradorey, Bodegas Félix Callejo, Bodegas Comenge, Bodegas Cepa 21, and Bodegas Ismael Arroyo – ValSotillo.
Our wineries in Ribera del Duero map include some of the other noteworthy wineries to visit that didn’t make the top 10 list as well as a few of the smaller wineries in the area. If you found this blog post helpful in planning a weekend of wine tasting in Ribera del Duero, please let us know in the comments below.