June 7, 2022 Penafiel SP

We had a very simple plan today, visit a winery. The Ribera del Duoro area has enchanted us. The river valley with rolling hills is one of our favorite landscapes, and this is a very beautiful valley. On top of that we have not had a bad local wine here so this area is pretty close to our idea of heaven.

Part of the countryside around the Ribera del Duoro.

The winery we visited is Vina Pedrosa and came highly recommended. The drive thru the countryside was scenic and relaxing, and when we arrived we were surprised by the large scale of the winery, for being located in a very small village in the backcountry of Spain it was quite large. A lot of the time in Europe we visit wineries that have been in operation for generations, but in the case of Vina Pedrosa it has been in operation since 1980. In fact a lot of the wineries in the Ribera del Duero are very modern. The region was kind of rediscovered in the 1980’s as a winemaking area. Of course the locals have been making wine here for centuries.

The barrel storage at the winery. A very modern and impressive facility.

We were met by our host for the tour, and we were the only customers. We felt bad that she was taking an hour out of her day to give us a private tour, but she allayed our bad feelings right away, and treated us like a VIP on the tour. The winery only produces wine based on the Tempranillo grape which is one of the major grapes of Spain. They chose early on to specialize in only the grape that has been dominate here for centuries, and to work on producing the finest wine the region is capable of delivering.

A bottle of the official wine of the Vatican personally selected by Pope John Paul II.

The tour was very interesting, and we learned that for 7 years Vina Pedrosa was the official wine of the Vatican having been selected by Pope John Paul II in a blind tasting. During the Christmas mass each year the wine for the communion was Vina Pedrosa.

The wall of fame of celebrities who have enjoyed Vina Pedrosa.

We really enjoyed our tour of Vina Pedrosa and the drive out to the winery. It was a nice ending to our visit here in the Ribera del Duoro. The last stop of the day was to top François with Diesel and LP gas, because tomorrow we need to be heading north as we are running out of time for this trip.

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