Five days, twelve wineries, and thousands of photos. To keep this post as concise as possible, I picked out the five tours I enjoyed the most. Each left an impression for various reasons, which I'll explain briefly below.
In order of appearance:
BODEGA CASADO ALVIDES - RIBERA DEL DUERO
-Going into the vineyards to watch the grapes being harvested and tasting in their underground wine cellar from the 17th Century.
BODEGAS MARTIN BERDUGO - RIBERA DEL DUERO
-This was the first winery we toured... and it says a lot that I still remember their wines. Each one we tried, the Tempranillo, Verdejo, and rosado (100% Tempranillo) were all excellent. Plus, the owner made us laugh (which was much needed after our travels).
DOMINIO DEL ÁGUILA - RIBERA DEL DUERO
-My favorite wine from all of the tours was the Picaro del Aguila Clarete, a rosé made with a blend of Tempranillo and Abilla, a white grape varietal that few vineyards grow anymore (due to the popularity of Tempranillo).
BODEGA TRASLASCUESTAS - RIBERA DEL DUERO
-On their property, this winery has a structure that contains the mechanism used to crush grapes hundreds of years ago. It consists of a giant elm log, which is then lowered down using a system that involves a screw (also made from elm). All of the juice is then collected in a pool. (see above for photos from inside the building).
Favorite wine: Rose Barrel Fermented (100% Tempranillo)
BODEGA MARQUES DE VELILLA - RIBERA DEL DUERO
-One of the more thorough tours we went on. María Pinacho was one of only a few female winemakers we met on our trip.
HERMANOS DEL VILLAR - RUEDA
-My second favorite wine from the trip: Oro de Castilla Finca de los Hornos 2015 Verdejo.