Our district is located to the south of the province of Burgos and has borders with the province of Segovia to the southwest, Soria to the east and Valladolid and Palencia to the west. It is a district that is rich in rivers. The River Duero crosses from the east to the west and is an essential resource, giving this land all its richness and diversity of fauna and landscape. The other rivers in the district are the Arandilla, the Aranzuelo, the Bañuelos, the Gromejón and the Riaza. These, together with smaller rivers and the River Esgueva, bless us with the Ribera’s unique landscape with its forests of great beauty and its wonderful ornithological diversity.
The Duero and Esgueva Valleys jointly lead to and shape a region that boasts numerous outstanding elements: the lowland consisting of plains, rolling hills, hills and dales that are interspersed between irrigated land, cereal fields, vineyards and woodlands. It is its untamed vegetation that gives a special greenness to the landscape, the small forests, the vegetation of the Ribera that accompanies the routes of rivers, streams, springs etc. And it should always be borne in mind that the district of Ribera del Duero Burgalesa is an eminently agricultural area, a land that has been tilled since ancient times, from the fertile irrigated gardens to the wide cereal plains, passing through the extensive vineyards that are dotted over the landscape.
Vineyards have been and still are the main crop suppliers. They have undergone several phases of development. The official approval, in July 1982, of the Ribera del Duero Protected Designation of Origin has proved crucial to its success.
Of the numerous tasks performed on the vineyards, harvesting is the most popular and, depending on the weather conditions, it will usually take place in October, a time at which the landscape is filled with delightful purples and ruby reds. The wineries make all the necessary preparations for taking delivery of the ripe fruit. After undergoing a whole year of intense work, the fruit will be subjected to rigorous quality control checks aimed at achieving an excellent vintage. On an individual level, there are those who are starting to use old wine presses to produce wines for private consumption, an experience everyone is aware of.
The wines of Ribera del Duero and the lamb from Castile and Leon are inseparable, because together they make an unbeatable gastronomic experience. They can be enjoyed at the most renowned restaurants in the area, where visitors can also enjoy wonderful, thoughtful service. It is also the custom among the inhabitants of la Ribera to meet friends and family at the old wineries, now converted into charming eating areas, to enjoy lamb chops that have been roasted on vine shoots, washed down with one of the vintage “claretes”.
Visitors cannot leave without enjoying the rich cultural and historical heritage bequeathed to us by our ancestors. This will help them understand the reasons for our Castilian identity and character. They should visit the numerous prehistoric settlements, Roman sites, border castles, palaces, examples of religious architecture, as seen in monasteries, collegiate churches, major churches, smaller churches and hermitages of all architectural styles. They should also take time to enjoy our wide range of secular architecture and a folklore that is rich in eye-catching dances, traditional songs that are associated with the work on the land, religious festivals, traditional fiestas and processions that allow travellers to join in with the community and be welcomed with open arms. It is at these occasions that you will discover the friendly and down to earth nature of the people of la Ribera del Duero Burgalesa.