Wine Discovery Sessions at the annual Wine Bloggers Conference afford the opportunity for attendees to learn, in-depth, about specific wine regions and from wine educators and/or principals. There are 6 Wine Discovery Sessions at this year’s WBC – 3 on Friday and 3 on Saturday. We are excited to hear from the two Spanish wine regions of Ribera del Duero and Rueda – that collectively joined forces in a U.S. campaign to be known as Ribera y Rueda – on Friday, August 14 at 1:30 pm in the Seneca Room at WBC15.
Two hours north of Madrid and in Spain’s northern plateau is the Ribera del Duero region. Vineyards, here, sit at higher elevations here and soak up the sunshine AND the swings in diurnal temperatures, at their 2,500 – 3,000 feet in elevation. Spain is a country that contains hundreds of incredibly diverse growing climates and the dominant grape planted in this Spanish D.O, Tempranillo (aka Tinto del País and/or Tinto Fino), is perfectly suited for the arid climate surrounding the cities of Valladolid, Aranda del Duero, Peñafiel, and Burgos, all part of the “Ruta del Vino” which winds through the area. An emerging darling in the restaurant world, Tempranillo has a reputation for being a perfect pairing:
Full-bodied without going Godzilla-overboard, Ribera del Duero Tempranillos are about as food-friendly as red wines get.
Named Wine Enthusiast’s 2012 Wine Region of the Year, the Ribera del Duero region and the even-keeled wines coming from mature vines (over a third are 50+ years old) are calling your name at the 2015 WBC.
Meanwhile, the longest river of the Iberien peninsula, the Duero, meanders through the Rueda D.O in Northwest Spain. Its many tributaries make for drainages that provide layers of different mineral deposits and soils that allow the Verdejo grapes, which is the varietal this region is known for, to truly pop. The Rueda D.O. was established in 1980 and the wild landscape in the Castilla y León plateau make Verdejo work for its characteristics. Digging deep into the continental climate of the area, Verdejo grapes exude distinctiveness and aromatics that make it another food-oriented style of wine. Somms love acidity, and Verdejo has that with a capital “A” – along with flavor, balance, and fruit aplenty. Slurping down oysters on the half-shell? Sip on Verdejo and feel the tingling sensation on the back of your mouth as you savor the briny bivalve flavors melt in your mouth. Eating Pad Thai on a Thursday night? Let the fruity, light aromatics play with your peanut sauce and cut through the fat. Boom. Verdejo is the rock star of Spanish whites.
Charles Ford, Sommelier at The Bristol in Chicago, loves the wines from Ribera y Rueda. He will be leading the Friday afternoon Wine Discovery Session, “S, What’s Next with Ribera y Rueda” and welcomes you to taste, feel, and discover why he loves these incredibly food-friendly and dynamic wines at the 2015 Wine Bloggers Conference.