Discovering Spain through wine is a trip well worth tasting. Step inside CCastilla y León, where cuisine, history, nature and culture all join together to bring you a different kind of holiday. But what will really make this holiday stand out are the centuries-old wineries that live and breathe tradition and terroir.
In Aranda de Duero and the surrounding area
Known for the Designation of Origin Ribera del Duero, one of the peculiarities of this region is the underground wineries, which date back to the 14th and early 15th centuries. You can visit the historic Bodega Don Carlos with its seven kilometres of tunnels full of bottles and barrels of exquisite wine. Or the Bodega el Lagar de Isillas winery and restaurant, where you can enjoy the typical cuisine of the region. In nearby Valsotillo most of the wineries date back to the 15th century. In the Bodega Ismael Arroyo, they combine traditional and modern winemaking techniques.
You'll find Covarrubias in the wine growing area around Burgos. It’s one of the three medieval towns that together make up the well-known Triangle of Arlanza, which also has its own Designation of Origin. The Bodega Valdable is located in a cave excavated in the mountainside in the 12th century. On your visit you’ll enjoy the family atmosphere, and discover how they age their wines.
In Rueda you'll find a labyrinth: Bodega Hilo de Ariadna, or Ariadne’s Thread winery. As in the legend where Ariadne gives Theseus a thread to find his way through the maze, here you can venture into the depths of these underground cellars and find out more about wine culture. An unparalleled setting that dates from the Mudéjar era.
In this town dominated by its castle, there are many wineries scattered over the mountainside that today are no longer in use. Even so, you can still enjoy the streets and the views, and visit Valladolid’s Provincial Wine Museum.
The town of Cigales inherited its wineries from a rich man. Although the Bodega Ovidio García dates from the 20th century, hidden cellars were discovered that are some 300 years old. Both red and rosé wines are produced under the Cigales Designation of Origin. The humidity ensures that it stays nice and cool, at an ideal temperature for preserving the wine.
Torquemada is part of the province of Palencia, home to the Valdesneros Winery. Here they also follow artisan techniques, but using more up-to-date machinery. You can go to a wine tasting at a traditional winery. Underground cellars have been conserved throughout the town, which must all have been excavated at around the same time.
Many wine cellars dating back to medieval times still exist today in the village of Fermoselle, but most of them are privately owned. The unusual underground construction led to their being declared a Historic-Artistic Site. Why not visit the Bodega El Pulijón - although nowadays they don’t make any wine, here you can admire the unusual architectural style and discover the sort of tools that were formerly used for winemaking.
Like most of the wineries in the area, these are also located underground. The majority have been abandoned, but the Bodega El Capricho (Jiménez de Jamuz) has been renovated, and is now a venue for combining wine with good food. Here you can try wines from the Designation of Origin Tierras de León.
Vineyards were very important in this area, and have left behind a legacy of wineries, masonry and limestone constructions that are no longer in use. On a visit you can discover the architecture of these buildings, together with the intriguing underground passageways that have been conserved.