Wine & Travel Update

May 18, 2021

We highlight unique and interesting wines, how to buy them locally, and how to experience these wines where they are made.


Learn about Ribera Del Duero

Ribera del Duero is an important wine region in Castilla y Leon, northern Spain. Its reputation is largely thanks to the high-quality of its red wines, with the best examples renowned throughout the wine world.


This region has a long history of winemaking, centered on the leading local producer, Bodegas Vega Sicilia. Its Unico wine is generally regarded as Spain's greatest and is served at royal functions.

Ribera del Duero regulations specify that Tempranillo must make up at least 75 percent of all vinos tintos (red wines). The balance is usually made up mostly of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec. 

French oak, with its subtle aromas of toast and spice, gives the wine a firm structure and smooths the tannins to a velvety texture. While oak plays as prominent a role, it is the dense, concentrated red and black fruit that carry Ribera’s wines. These wines are big, bold and textured, with plenty of rich, old-world sensibility. Balanced acidity and generous fruit mean Riberas are crafted to age, developing increased complexity over time.


Ribera del Duero means "bank of the Duero." Vineyards stretch along the River Duero through Spain, which flows on to become Portugal’s Douro. In the growing season, the high daytime temperatures are combined with considerably cooler nights., creating optimal conditions for the Tempranillo grapes that define Ribera del Duero wines distinctive character.

The capital of Ribera del Duero is the historic town of Aranda de Duero. It boasts a series of antique underground cellars (bodegas) built to store wine. The interconnecting cellars reach a depth of 40ft (12m) in places.

Cuisine in the area places more of an emphasis on meat, with lamb playing a large roll. Few food and wine pairings can top a delicious Ribera del Duero matched with grilled lamb chops.

Ribera del Duero wines are readily available in the United States from wine retailers. Price and quality range from a $10 table wine to $1,300 for the prized Unico. When buying, look for the term "Crianza" on the wine label, which means the wine has spent at least a year in oak, and plan to spend about $30 for a unique and good quality wine. Just let us know if you would like a referral to a wine retailer which sells Ribera del D.


Ribera del Duero is best experienced as a day trip from Madrid, which is about a two hour drive. We suggest a customized private or small group excursion which would typically include an expert guide, seasonal lunch and three bodega visits to taste the local wines. Admire the unique mix of modern and traditional architecture as you explore this ancient region’s wealth of medieval villages and castles. Spain is a beatuiful country with an abundance of opportunities to enjoy yourself. Call us when you are ready to go!

Coggin Travels Hosted Wine Cruises

Learn about wine while cruising with Sommelier Jeff Coggin

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The Douro River Valley - Home of Port Wine

8 Days Roundtrip from Porto, Portugal

​​​October 31, 2021 aboard the S.S. SÃO GABRIEL

This is a luxury boutique river cruise from Uniworld aboard a brand new 100 passenger ship.

Premium Wine Upgrade - Your host will procure your favorite local wines to share at dinner each evening

A Taste of Burgundy

on the Lewis & Clark Trail

8 days from Clarkston, WA to Portland OR

On the Columbia and Snake Rivers

May 11, 2022 aboard the AMERICAN HARMONY

Includes 5 Exclusive Burgundy Wine Dinners with Premium Wines from Chateau de Pommard

This cruse is filling quickly with main deck accommodations already sold out. Call us now to make a deposit and hold a room.

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Our next edition of the Wine & Travel Update will highlight the Chenin Blanc wines of South Africa



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