Do you know D.O. Cigales?
Do you travel to Valladolid? Great, because this city forms the perfect base from which you can discover several beautiful wine areas of Castilla y León! Of course you could opt for Ribera del Duero, a well known and highly valued wine paradise, but maybe this choice is too obvious. Do you want to discover an authentic wine area, where you won´t be one of the thousands of wine tourists visiting wineries? Then go to Cigales, the land of the Spanish rosé. And it is only 15 minutes driving from Valladolid!
Cigales has a long history of wine cultivation, but it took until 1991 before the area was recognized as an official D.O. (Denominación de Origen) of Spain. The area is best known for its rosé wines, which are very fresh and fruity, but nowadays the red wines gain more and more fame, both national and international. White wine lovers will also enjoy themselves, since this D.O. also allows white wines to be made.
The principal grape varieties used in Cigales are the white varieties Verdejo, Souvignon Blanc and Albillo and the red varieties Tempranillo, Garnache, Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet Souvignon.
There are a total of 21 wineries belonging to the D.O. Cigales. Many of them are family owned and just opened their doors to tourism. It is therefore the perfect destination for those who would like to avoid the mass tourism wineries.
In order to promote the wine region as a tourism destination, several wineries and other local companies are currently working on establishing the wine route of Cigales: Ruta del Vino Cigales.
Because of this route, many wineries are improving their facilities for wine tourism, including the offer of tours in English or other foreign languages. Another interesting development caused by the establishment of the wine route is the collaboration between wineries as well as between wineries and other local companies. The wine sector here has always been very competitive, which did not work in favor of promoting Cigales as a wine tourism destination. However, now 16 wineries and 61 other companies and organizations, such as restaurants, museums, tourism offices, town halls etc., are working together towards one goal: promoting Cigales as a wine tourism destination.
by Lisanne Van Duijn, Dutch Author and Wine Enthusiast