Whereas our Campos project is the equivalent of a ‘Zoom Out’ from Spain’s traditional DO system, focussing on macro regions and grape varieties, the Villages project is quite the opposite – a zoom in to a very specific type of climate and soil within a famous DO. Ribera del Duero is a long ribbon along the river Duero, with significant differences between climates and soils, though the grape variety throughout the region is the same.
Manuel Esteban’s father was born and bred in Valbuena, but started his working life in Valladolid. In the late seventies he acquired a large estate in his home town and sold off part in order to finance the planting of a vineyard in the highest part of the valley. The cuttings were taken from local farmers in the villages of Valbuena and Pesquera, so maintaining a traditional style in the wine.
El Mulo is our homage to a traditional way of farming, where a faithful old mule tilled the land between the vines. This wine is from a single estate called Monte Alto, in the renowned village of Valbuena del Duero, at the western end of the Ribera del Duero DO. High up on the valley side, the limestone soils are poor and rocky, providing just the right amount of stress on the vines to produce very, elegant but obviously Ribera reds, which have been given a year in oak to further refine them