Top 10 Spanish regions to watch18th December, 2013 by Lucy Shaw
Made a DO just five years ago, Arribes lies on the westernmost tip of Spain in the southeast of the province of Zamora, where Spain meets Portugal along the banks of the Duero River. The name Arribes derives from ad ripam, meaning “on the banks” in Latin. The region, which enjoys a Mediterranean climate with Atlantic influences and sandy soils formed of loose granite and quartz pebbles, is getting the attention of the media due to indigenous grape, Juan García.
Keen to unleash the untapped potential of Arribes, which boasts a bounty of old bush vines and yet is still in its winemaking infancy with just 750ha under vine, a small group of producers, spearheaded by English-born Charlotte Allen, have invested in the region and are championing Juan García, bringing out its varietal character through a combination of low yields and modern winemaking techniques.
Juan García produces fragrant, terroir-driven wines with notes of cherry, raspberry and spice. Super-premium producer, Bodegas Ribera de Pelazas, is making interesting reds from old vine Juan García, while Arribes is also making a name for itself through the production of native red grape Rufete.