One of the characteristics that mark the wines of the Denomination of Origin Ribera del Duero, is the height at which their vineyards are located.
Its vineyards rise above sea level in a range between 720 to 1,100 m. The temperature fluctuations between day and night are staggering, and prolonged droughts are challenging. However, thanks to the knowledge and skill of winegrowers, these extreme conditions give the fruits exceptional quality.
When making a wine, the height of the vineyard is as decisive as the variety of grape chosen, the climate or the characteristics of the terroir.
The main effect of altitude on wine production is its influence on the climate. As altitude increases, temperatures tend to get cooler. The cooler temperatures in the higher altitude areas in Ribera del Duero are beneficial for the cultivation of the vine, since they favor a slow and gradual ripening of the grapes. This longer maturation allows for the development of greater aromatic complexity and a better balance between sugars and pH, which translates into fresher and more balanced wines.
Another important factor related to altitude is the thermal amplitude, the temperature differences between day and night tend to be more marked. During the day, the sun warms the vineyards, while at night the temperatures drop, benefiting the ripening process of the grapes. The cool nights preserve the acidity and the aromas, the warm days allow a correct maturation of the sugars and polyphenols. All this contributes to the complexity and structure of Ribera del Duero wines.
As altitude increases, the composition of the soil can vary significantly and produce smaller grapes with higher concentrations of aromas and flavors. These more demanding soil conditions in the higher areas can lead to more elegant wines with greater aging capacity.
In addition to climatic and soil factors, altitude can also influence the grape varieties that are grown in the area. In Ribera del Duero, the main variety is Tinta del País, also known as Tempranillo, which adapts well to the climatic and soil conditions of the region.
Wines made in high altitude regions tend to have a more intense color and concentrate aromas and flavors; reveal nuances of ripe fruit; they have a greater presence of tannins; a more pronounced natural acidity and above all, a remarkable freshness and fluidity.
The wines of Bodegas Federico are the result of all the singularities that the Ribera del Duero treasures, climate, soil, height… which also combine wonderfully with the good work of a family in love with wine and their land.