Bodegas Ismael Arroyo, Val Sotillo, Crianza 2016
Ismael Arroyo’s family has been producing wine in the Burgos region of Castilla y Leon for 400 years. It was in 1979 that he founded his own winery in the small village of Sotillo de la Ribera located in what would become the heart of the Ribera del Duero upon its creation in 1982. He was instrumental in the creation of the that Denominación de Origin and has gone on to become one of the iconic producers of the region.
His vineyard holdings total twenty five hectares around the winery, Bodegas Ismael Arroyo, where the 16th century tunnels, carved into the hillside beneath the vineyards, are still in active use. In fact, recently the estate has added to the sumptuous tunnels so that all of the wines can be aged in the ideal temperature and humidity that they provide. In addition to the winery’s own vineyards, grapes are purchased from neighboring growers who farm to exacting standards. These include foregoing all irrigation and chemical treatments in the vineyards, hand harvesting of the grapes, and head pruning of the vines. The average age of the vineyards is fifty years old and some plots were planted more than 90 years ago. The wines are comprised of 100% Tempranillo, the greatest Spanish varietal.