Located to the south of the Cordillera Cantábrica range of mountains the Denomination of Origin of Tierra Leon is one of the newest and most southerly DO’s in Castilla y León. The art of winemaking has a long history in this region stretching back as far as the 10th century when monasteries were established as a result of the Pilgrim’s route to Santiago de Compostela crossing the region.
In the 1980’s a group of pioneering winemakers made the first moves towards putting this region on the map in terms of quality winemaking when they began to work towards making the local red grape variety Prieto Picudo much more well-known. Prieto Picudo is certainly a point of difference for the region and, along with other red grape varieties, produces some very interesting wines.
Climate: The area has a continental climate (long, hot dry summers; cold winters). Temperatures in winter often fall below 0°C and there is frequent frosts and fog.
Soil: Soils are located on alluvial terraces, with brown rocky deposits and soft limestone materials. Soil have an excellent internal drainage, with an acceptable capacity for water retention, aeration and ease of penetration of the roots, low in minerals, depth, with relevant content of limestone and poor in organic material.
Grape Varities: Prieto Picudo is perhaps one of Spain’s most interesting varietals with small, compact bunches it is particularly resistant to drought. It is an aromatic grape with good acidity and full fruit flavours and is equally suited to making young wines as well as wines for ageing. In blends it is often combined with Mencía, especially when used for making rosé wines, where the DO regulations state that the blend must be made up of at least 60% of Prieto Pecudo or Mencía. White grapes varieties grown in the DO include Verdejo, Albarin, and Godello.