Castilla y León Region
Castilla y León, situated in the northern half of the central Iberian Plateau and is the largest of Spain's 17 administrative regions. The mighty river Duero flows directly through the region before it flows across the border to Portugal where the home of Port is based.
Castilla y León sits on a vast plateau which is between 2300ft and 3300ft (700m–1000m) above sea-level and where the weather provides hot, dry summers followed by sharp, cold winters, when temperatures regularly drop well below freezing.
Red wines rule in Castilla y León, and of the red-wine grapes, Tempranillo (known here by various synonyms including Tinta del Pais, Tinto de Toro and Tinto Fino) is unquestionably the king. It is the grape behind all of the region's finest wines except Bierzo, which is from the Mencia grape. Castilla y León's white wines – far fewer in number than the reds, but only marginally less prestigious – are made mostly from Verdejo and Viura.
Castilla y León is a leader in the production of quality wines and over the last few decades it has come from being unheard of to rivalling the wines of Rioja.
The region's ten Denominaciones de Origen (wines with Designation of Origin) have contributed to this standing: Ribera del Duero, Cigales, Rueda, Toro, Bierzo, Arlanza, Arribes, Tierras de León, Valles de Benavente and Tierra del vino de Zamora.