Organic Wine Tasting in Spain's Ribera Wine Region

Surrounded by a pine forest and the Duero River, Finca Villacreces winery offers a bucolic vision of traditional Spanish winemaking. Founded in the 13th century by Franciscan monks, I explored the estates 171 acres of vineyards that supply Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes.  As the region’s biggest organic winery, Villacreces doesn’t use sulfates and it employs butterflies, ladybugs and birds to eat insects instead of insecticides.

The grapes are harvested by hand to preserve the quality. Strolling and biking through the sandy and rocky terrain, I learned about the fermentation process that produces the wineries signature Pruno wine, a  deep burgundy, fruity wine created with Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.  I sipped Pruno at the elegant picnic that was laid out for a scenic wine tasting among the twisting vines. Gourmet cheeses, charcuterie and regional dishes blended with the wines to create savory flavors.

A visit to the Villacreces chapel, filled with medieval artifacts and paintings, gave the perfect glimpse into how the region’s wine history is connected to the monasteries that originally planted many of the vineyards.Villacreces was one of the most charming wineries I've ever visited. What are some of your favorite wineries?


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