The new classification, Vino de Pago Abadía Retuerta (PDO), is a further endorsement of the winery’s outstanding achievements, following over eight centuries of winemaking on the estate
· This recognition is a credit to the forward thinking, excellence and profound knowledge of this pioneering winery in the Duero Valley
· Enrique Valero, CEO at Abadía Retuerta: “We are incredibly proud of this achievement, because it is a testament to our working philosophy, our know-how and determination. We have a unique approach to winemaking: our wine enhances and reflects all the personality of the surrounding lands, right here at the heart of the Duero Valley”
Sardón de Duero – Abadía Retuerta has been awarded the maximum distinction in Spanish Wine Law: it now holds the Denominación de Origen Protegida (Protected Designation of Origin, or PDO) of Vino de Pago. Following a very long registration process, this classification has now been ratified in the European Union’s Official Journal.
In the term Vino de Pago, a “pago” refers to a plot of land with its own particular soil and microclimate characteristics, setting it apart from other neighbouring plots. This prestigious recognition is therefore an endorsement of the estate’s soils: Abadía Retuerta’s wine is an authentic expression of the terroir, i.e. the local climatic and geographical traits that give rise to vines and grapes with truly unique qualities. In Spain, this label is at the very top of the wine classification scale, which goes up from Table Wine, Regional Wine, Quality Wine with Geographic Indication, Protected Designation of Origin, Qualified Designation of Origin, and finally Vino de Pago as the uppermost category.
Enrique Valero, CEO of Abadía Retuerta, notes that “we are incredibly proud of this achievement, because it is a testament to our working philosophy, our know-how and our determination. We do not mindlessly follow the latest trends: our sole aim has always been to revive this noble and historic winery, while maintaining a unique approach to winemaking that really does enhance and reflect all the personality of the Duero Valley”. This leading winery, in the municipality of Sardón de Duero (in Spain’s Golden Mile of Wine), is defined by excellence and a devotion to the craft: “It was Saint Norbert of Xanten, founder of the Premonstratensian order of canons regular, who said ‘Seek peace and pursue it’. This phrase has been a great inspiration to us, encouraging us to respect the rhythms of nature and history, and to adhere to this age-old philosophy. Our priority is to uphold the legacy passed down to us: we strive to maintain the estate’s unique winemaking tradition”, adds Valero.
A unique winemaking tradition
This recognition is an endorsement of Abadía Retuerta and its long history of winemaking, right at the heart of the Duero Valley. As historians have established, this is a deeply-rooted tradition that dates back to the early Christian era. The grapevine was brought to Spain by the Romans, and they planted it all over the north of the peninsula, including the lands around the Duero and what would become Abadía Retuerta. Ten centuries later, the Christians founded their monasteries, including the Monastery of Santa María de Retuerta, which was established in 1146 following a substantial donation of lands and vineyards. In the Duero region, the monks persisted with their cultivation of grapevines and, gradually, they mastered the art of winemaking. They learnt how to get the most out of the region’s lands, which were sunny yet cold in winter, and hot and dry in summer. Thanks to the vines’ adaptability and strength, the resulting wine would become one of the region’s best products.
These are the foundations upon which the pillars of Abadía Retuerta are built. Their team’s guiding philosophy is to revive an ancient winery, uphold a rich local winemaking tradition and help the surrounding lands reach their full potential. This striking estate, in the Duero Valley, is home to eight long centuries of winemaking heritage. Just over thirty years ago, it was revived by an experienced team under the guidance of wine expert Ángel Anocíbar, aided by renowned vigneron and former director of Château Ausone and Château Belair, Pascal Delbeck. Today’s final confirmation of the PDO Vino de Pago is a testament to their many years of effort: they have tirelessly worked to create unique and imitable wines, striving for excellence at each and every step in the winemaking process.
A long line of prestigious awards
This new achievement, the PDO Vino de Pago classification, is the latest in a long line of awards and prizes that certify Abadía Retuerta as one of the world’s greatest winemakers. One such highlight was the Abadía Retuerta Selección Especial 2001 winning the award for the World’s Best Red Wine (Red Wine Trophy) at the 2005 International Wine Challenge in London (Wine Magazine, UK). It was also the first Spanish winery to feature for three consecutive years in the Top 100 Wines in the World, published since 1988 by the accredited American magazine Wine Spectator, with the Abadía Retuerta Selección Especial. In particular, the 2012 vintage reached number 12 on this list.
Year after year, the Pago and Petit Verdot wines have been rated very highly in renowned publications such as the Robert Parker Wine Advocate, the aforementioned Wine Spectator, Guía Peñín and Guía Gourmets. Pago Valdebellón 2014 won the Top Medal Master in the Global Cabernet Sauvignon Masters (as awarded by The Drinks Business), and Pago Negralada 2014 was awarded Platinum Best in the Best Northwest Spanish Red Category at the 2017 International Wine Challenge, in addition to the Great Gold Medal in the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles. Pago Garduña 2013 was considered by Robert Parker’s taster, Luis Gutiérrez, to be the Best Syrah in Spain.
As regards the Blanco LeDomaine, the British wine critic Jancis Robinson has given it a superb review, and its second vintage on sale was chosen as the best white wine in Spain by Verema.com.
The vineyard plots at Abadía Retuerta
Abadía Retuerta is a unique place where the past lives on in the present, and where centuries of tradition and culture remain intact. The River Duero defines the surrounding landscape, creating unique conditions for winemaking. An expert team with great dedication, know-how and patience really get the best out of this terrain: they respect the natural cycles and help the vines adapt to the harsh climate of the region, in order to produce one of the estate’s prized assets: its world-class wine.
Abadía Retuerta creates wines that express all the personality of each individual plot in the vineyard. Only the very best wines are released for sale, as and when the vintage is of a high enough standard. The estate spans 700 hectares, 180 of which are set aside for vine growing. These vineyards are split into 54 small plots, divided according to their soil composition, and each one is planted with a single grape variety. Syrah takes up 10%, Tempranillo 70%, and Cabernet Sauvignon 10%. The remaining 10% is divided between Merlot, Petit Verdot and a number of white varieties.