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One of Spain's finest wineries
31 July 2017 @ 13:37

In 1927,  the love a group of local vine growers felt for the land achieved the union of their best efforts, creating a winery, now a symbol of the Ribera region. A project that has continously grown and multiplies year by year, taking its name proudly to the highest international levels. Protos, which comes from the Greek word for "FIRST" is without a doubt one of the great wines from what is now known as 'Ribera del Duero'. The 30s represented its definite settlement at the international level. The 1929 World Exposition in Barcelona gave a particularly strong impulse, awarding Gold Medals to its red wines and establishing it as a benchmark for the region.

The company's rapid growth brought about the problem of lack of space for the first time and the winery began its expansion throughout the region. The construction of a wine-aging cellar began in the heart of the mountain, literally beneath the Castle of Peñafiel.

 

The quality and prestige this winery acquired in the eighties led a highly recognised vine-growing area to take on its own name, Ribera del Duero, to identify the D.O. Control Board that watches over the quality of area wines. In 1995, the wine-aging cellar was enlarged and the winery succeeded in the international winemaking panorama.

The project continues growing: In the town of Anguix (Burgos), Protos has acquired a winery that has the latest cutting-edge technology. It can produce up to three million kilos of grapes, of which 1.5 million kilos go through the sorting table.

It is in Peñafiel, a Valladolid town held together by the Duero River, where this gift of the land is born. Protos has the privilege of having been engendered in the heart of one of the most important fortresses in the area – Peñafiel Castle –. This castle is a landmark for the Castilla y León region since the wine museum is housed in it.

The new winery  is an architectural jewel that has already become a symbol of the Ribera del Duero D.O.- and the area's interesting culture and gastronomy have placed Protos at the centre of a new trend known as "Wine-Related Tourism".

 

Tradition and vanguard were combined in the designing of the new winery where guided visits and special events can also be arranged. Only few can resist the temptation to discover the Duero's Heart, an incredibly beautiful place.

 The new Protos winery facility is located at an interesting historical crossroads: the extension of the Camino de las Eras and the San Pedro sheep drove road, an ancient Roman road. It is on the edge of a low-lying area that, in the past, was partially covered by a small pond fed by waters from the nearby Botijas stream. It is also located quite near the existing winery facilities, connected to them via an underground link, and buried into the Peñafiel Castle hill.

The project was conceived as a contemporary reinterpretation of traditional wine cellar construction in the region. On the one hand, the base of the building is excavated into the land, reminiscent of wine cellar construction methods that have been used since time immemorial in the Peñafiel Castle hillside. With this reference in mind, and for practical reasons that are commonplace to vernacular architecture in relation to making the best use of the lower temperatures underground, most of the facilities used in the preparation and aging of wine are buried underground.

On the other hand, the aboveground structure, technically known as the “light structure”, is a reinterpretation of vault-shaped winery construction methods. This structure is made of parabolic arches of laminated wood. The shape and materials were chosen because they are structurally efficient and appropriate for the production process, as traditional winery construction has shown.

The roof is the most noteworthy visual feature of the outside of the winery. This is the result of the exceptional location of the winery at the foot of the castle. In the project concept, the roof was considered as yet another façade, to be viewed from the privileged position afforded by the castle.

Therefore, it was designed with the five vaulted bays oriented towards the Castle. In the treatment of the roof materials and construction, using large format terracotta pieces, it represents a contemporary reinterpretation of typical vernacular roofs. In effect, seen from the Castle, Peñafiel offers muted red tones that range from orange to brown, typical of traditional tile roofs. This is the colour that is also used for the winery.

Protos allows you to visit its two wineries: the oldest that extends through the interior of the mountain, and the new one that was designed by the architect Richard Rogers. All visits include a tour of the two wineries and a wine tasting at the end of the tour which is higly recommended. Visits must be arranged in advance by calling +34 659 843 463 or by sending an e-mail to: enoturismo@bodegasprotos.com.

Visits are 1.5 hours long on average, including a tasting of one Verdejo white wine and one crianza red wine. Please note that our tours are available upon demand for individuals or groups and visits require a minimum of 8 people.

Protos does not produce any bad wines at all. They are all fantastic so it will be your budget that determines which wines you will want to try. They are all great but I will stick my neck out for the Protos Crianza a wonderfully velvety smoot red which is not too oaky. It is great with meats and cheeses alike and should cost more than €13. 

PROTOS CRIANZA:

GRAPE VARIETY : Tempranillo 100 %

VINEYARDS : More than 25 years old.

FEATURES : Hand-picking harvest in 20 kg crates. Sorting table. Skin contact maceration and fermentation for 21 days at 28 ºC.

AGEING : 14 months in French (2/3) and American (1/3) oak barrels and 12 months in bottle.

COLOUR : cherry colour with garnet rim, bright and intense.

NOSE : red fruit expression, powerful, elegant, dry stone, coca bean, creamy oak, hints of spices.

TASTE : Powerful, flavourful, fruity, good acidity, smoky aftertaste, toasty, long finish.

SERVING TEMPERATURE 15 - 18 ºC.



Like 1




2 Comments


Falcón said:
31 July 2017 @ 15:01

I LOVE this article because the wine in Spain is something special for have dinner or lunch.
I LOVE of photos because is art and they show beautiful wine cellar.
One visit there would be really interesting for knowing more that.
LOVE, LOVE AND LOVE!!!


Bill Middleton said:
05 August 2017 @ 11:32

Discovered Ribera del Duero wines via a friend some years ago and they are still my most favourite wines - never had a bad one! Simply superb.


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