Ribera del Duero's ruling council has launched a bid to permit the production of white wine in the Spanish DO wine region.

Harvest in Ribera del Duero. Image credit: Cesar Manso / AFP / Getty

Ribera del Duero DO
is famous for its red wine production of Tempranillo grapes, but existing rules do not allow white wines to have DO status.

‘It is about opening new opportunities and options for producers,’ said Enrique Pascual, chairman of the Ribera del Duero regulatory council.

‘Our proposal contemplates allowing the production of white wine under DO label. The varieties of white grapes would be the same ones currently permitted in Castilla y Leon,’ he told Decanter.com.

White wine production in Ribera del Duero is limited to Castilla y Leon IGP (Protected Geographical Indication) and it accounts for less than 3% of the region’s wine production.

Under the new proposal, a wide range of varieties would be authorised for production with DO status, including Albillo, Pirules, Malvaisa, Viura, Verdejo, Albariño, Hondarrabi Zuri, Palomino, Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Treixadura and Viognier.

Pascual denied that the proposal had come about as a consequence of the limited production space available in the neighbouring Rueda DO wine region. He added that the proposal had emerged as result of conversation with local producers.

While many producers in Ribera del Duero have backed the proposals, some have voiced concerns over allowing for the production for such a wide range of white varieties. Pascual said a draft of the proposal had been submitted to vineyards and would require government and European Union approval.

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Written by Barnaby Eales