Ribera del Guadiana is located in south west Spain and borders Portugal. It unites six sub-zones in the region of Extremadura as detailed below (the Extremadura name hasn’t been adopted for the DO as a region called Estremadura exists in the west of Portugal). Tierra de Barros is the largest of the sub-regions and it is also setting the pace in terms of development.

The grape mix here is intriguing and reflects the region’s location. Tempranillo dominates but there are no less than 29 varieties listed by the DO’s Consejo Regulador including local, Portuguese and Andalusian varieties. More adventurous winemakers, both local and outsiders, are starting to tap into this rich resource and their wines are starting to appear in the UK. They are well worth looking out for, especially reds, though interesting work is being done with local white grapes Cayetana, Pardina and Eva.

Other essential ingredients are also in place. The vines receive good sun exposure over the ripening period and the region’s clay and limestone soils are particularly fertile due to the influence of the River Guadiana which flows through the region. This major water source, along with its tributaries, allows all kinds of agriculture to thrive alongside the vineyards including cereals, olives, cotton and cork.

So how can Ribera del Guadiana's wines take some of the limelight? One way is to associate the wines with fine local specialities. Extremadura is currently better known for food than for wine as the region is home to some famous Spanish delicacies, namely pata negra ham - the king of Spanish ‘jamón’, and the highly prized soft torta del casar cheese. A few local tapas are enough to win anyone over to the wines made here.

Recent vintages overview

2003 and 2004 good; 2005 very good; 2006 good; 2007 very good.

Regional facts

DO: Established 1999
Area under vine: 27,844 hectares
Sub-zones: Tierra de Barros, Montánchez, Ribera Alta, Ribera Baja, Matanegra and Cañamero
Altitude: 209-1,087 metres
Principal red grapes: Tempranillo. Others: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Garnacha Tinta, Garnacha Tintorera, Bobal, Graciano, Mazuelo (Cariñena), Monastrell, Syrah, Jaén Tinto and Pinot Noir
Principal white grapes: Pardina and Cayetana Blanca. Viura, Verdejo, Chardonnay. Others: Alarije, Borba, Eva, Malvar, Parellada, Sauvignon Blanc, Pedro Ximénez and Moscatel
Climate: maximum summer temperature 40˚C, minimum winter temperature 5˚C, average annual rainfall 400-500mm
Maximum crop: red 8,000 kg/ha, white 10,000 kg/ha
Ageing: Roble 3-4 months oak, Crianza 6 months oak, Reserva 12 months oak, Gran Reserva 24 months oak
Number of producers: 74 (50 bottlers)

Contact information

Tel: +34 924 671 302
Fax: +34 924 664 703

Email: info@riberadelguadiana.eu
Website: www.riberadelguadiana.eu

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