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Start > El páramo leonés

The Paramo


Ribera del Duero and Rioja are the best known wine-growing regions in Spain. However, León is one of the strongest regions in the country. In 1984, León had 14,000 hectares of vineyards, meanwhile Ribera del Duero only had 3,000.

The uniqueness of El Paramo is in its landscape. Popular for its ancient winery-caves (built underground to maintain a low temperature) and the prieto picudo grape variety.

History

Greeks and Phoenicians brought vines to Spain between 1100 and 400 years BC.

The growing of vines is related to the change from nomadic to sedentary lifestyle. Vines need three years to start producing grapes, so those who worked the land had to live close to the field.

In León, grape growing started in monastic life in the 12th century, when the pilgrimage to Santiago became popular.

For centuries nobility supported wine-making. The ordinary people produced the wine to pay taxes.

When Felipe II moved the court from Valladolid to Madrid, the development of wine-growing in Spain stopped. Consecutive battles and then the phylloxera only made things worse.

The rebirth of our productivity arrived in the 20th century, with the grafting of American roots to vines affected by phylloxera. The hard work of the people played a very important part in the revival of our region.

Climate

León's climate is cold mediterranean, but the altitude and proximity to the Cantábrico mountain range make it closer to continental climate.

Temperature: we never reach anything below -15ºC and the average in summer is 20ºC. We have a long, foggy and frosty winter. Spring and Summer are irregular. Autumn is usually rainy (around 500mm).

Thanks to the fluctuations of temperatures between day and night the grapes are rich in aromas and polyphenols. 2,700 hours of sun per year favour a regular ripening.

Soil

All fields are between 800 - 900m high.

There are two types of soil:

Clayey and sandy soil. Not very fertile but resistant, poor in compost but with good aeration and drainage.

Chalky soil. By the rivers Esla, Órbigo and Cea. Excellent drainage, aeration and penetrability of the roots. Poor in compost.