CH II / WHAT IS RIPPA DORII?
Two wineries and a river
Rippa Dorii -Ribera del Duero in its original, ancestral Latin form – represents a new way of experiencing the wines of Castile in their deepest essence, the historical origins of a remote winemaking tradition, of farmlands and innovation, of frugal soils and stubborn blue skies, which ever since the Middle Ages is recognised in the qualities of its wines bathed by the Duero / Flumen Dorii, as the drive shaft of its crops, the backbone of the birth of a way of expressing viticulture, its wine landscapes, of bread, pine woods and its experiences.
The Duero, the pilgrims’ route of the Camino de Santiago, crossroads of civilisations, gateway to the Americas. Fine red wines from the Ribera del Duero and white wines with the pure, essential character of Rueda.
Rippa Dorii. Rueda and Ribera. Ribera, Rueda and Duero. Tempranillo and Verdejo.
The Rippa Dorii winery is based on two historic Castilian appellations uniquely marked by the river course of the Duero catchment area, the largest in the Peninsula, and the home of one of the world’s greatest winemaking traditions, both in Spain and Portugal, with appellations of deep-rooted prestige and historical tradition, such as Ribera del Duero, Rueda, Toro and Oporto, among others.
The vineyards of the Rippa Dorii wineries in Ribera del Duero are located in the Fuentecén zone, in the heart of the Ribera (Rippa Dorii) district, bathed by the Duero and its tributary, the Riaza; and in Rueda, with the Torreduero vineyard as (the source of) one of the most iconic of our Castilian white wines and burnished by the highest sky in the Iberian Peninsula. Red-hearted Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, and the purest white-hearted Verdejo from Rueda.
Rippa Dorii, wines from Castile rooted on the banks of the Duero.
Creator of life
Wine is a way of understanding and interpreting the mark that a territory leaves on the senses and in Ribera del Duero and in Rueda, the Duero-Dorii proves transcendental, as the Spanish Master of Wine, Fernando de la Mora, explains:
«The Duero is a creator of life and shaper of the landscape, which has an effect on the diversity of its soils. Altitude and the greater or lesser width of the valley determine different outcrops of strata in the soil which the vines’ roots can reach».
The famed journalist Amaya Cervera believes that the Duero has formed a valley of a sedimentary origin and character:
«The river eroded the initial base and allowed different geological layers to surface which have gradually been eroded over time and later filled up with fluvial sedimentary material. Hence the resulting typical rock formations such as rañas (old river terraces which have been left very high), piedemontes or foothills (zones with rocky materials which have rolled downhill), terraces (modern materials near the river) and páramos or heaths (high areas which formed part of the ancient base).»
in the Duero basin
The search for the deepest mark left by the wines of Castile means immersing ourselves in an adventure that began with the arrival of the Vacceans in the Duero Basin between the 7th and 5th centuries BC. Estrabón in volume 3 of his work Geografía describes the Vaccean area as a poor, arid place, heavily wooded and with large valleys like those of the Duero, Esla or Pisuerga. But perhaps the essential moment of the beginnings of viticulture in Castile dates back to the time of the Reconquest, when the lands watered by and perched on the shores of the Duero became the scene of battles and raids between the Moorish and Christian armies, no-man’s land stuck between the lands of al-Ándalus and the emerging Astur kingdom, an empty, barren wasteland which, nevertheless, showed obvious aptitude for a medieval agricultural economy.
New settlers decided to inhabit these flat lands and little by little a dense network of “royal towns” grew up in Tierra de Campos and its main water courses. Vine cultivation was an essential way of settling the population in the new territories.
of the name Rippa Dorii
Rippa Dorii is search and find. Ripa Dorii, Ribera del Duero in its Latin form, comes as an inspiration of the place where our most emblematic vineyards are located: Torreduero, a cutting in a wide alluvial terrace overlooking our germinal river, Duero / Dorii, downstream from Torrecilla de la Abadesa, a place known as Santa María de Ribas de Duero since the Middle Ages.
A spot whose outline starts from a base in the Duero, the plains of the Vega Mayor and the extremes of the Arroyo Diana, goddess of hunters, of the nomads who were looking for places to settle in the fertile lands of Castile.
Among the bushes of the Barrio del Convento (Convent Quarter), as an evocation of the former property of the “Poor Clares” order or Madres Clarisas of Tordesillas, appears the hamlet of Torreduero. Its roots date from the 13th century: Sanctae Mariae de Ripa Dorii, Santa María de la Ribera del Duero, Santa María on the banks of the Duero, Santa María de Ribas del Duero. An ancient church which first belonged to the Bishopric of Zamora, then to the Orders of the Templars, Knights of the Holy Sepulchre and of St. John and, finally, as the headquarters of the Convent of the Claras de Tordesillas, the same monastery where Napoleon spent the Christmas of 1808 with its famous Abbess, the venerable Mother Manuela Rascón.