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Protos – Showing pioneering spirit in white and rosé winemaking

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The historic Spanish winery producing benchmark-setting whites and rosés in Rueda and Cigales.

Built into the hillside from which rises the castle of Peñafiel in Valladolid, Protos stands as a symbol of pioneering spirit in Ribera del Duero. Founded in 1927 by a group of local winegrowers as Bodega Ribera Duero, it ceded its name in 1982 to the new DO, and took instead the name of one of its wines, ‘Protos’, from the Greek for ‘first’, to commemorate its trailblazing position as the first winery in the region.

It is this pioneering spirit that continues to position Protos at the forefront of innovation in Ribera de Duero and beyond. Although renowned as a leading producer of premium red wines in the region – the company now manages an impressive 1,400ha of vineyards within the Ribera del Duero appellation – Protos has in recent years set its sights on producing benchmark-setting whites and rosés, from the surrounding appellations of Rueda and Cigales, respectively.

Vineyard with gravel soils in the Rueda DO

Vineyard with gravel soils in the Rueda DO

Different expressions of Verdejo

Protos established its first winery in Rueda – Spain’s most important white wine appellation – as long ago as 2006. The gravel soils situated at 700-800m altitude provide the perfect conditions for growing award-winning Verdejo wines.

Protos white and rosé wines

Protos Verdejo 2023 is the flagship wine in the Rueda range: a zesty, dry white wine with tropical and citrus fruit notes, complemented by hints of boxwood and fennel, and a long, subtly bitter finish that is typical of the Verdejo grape variety.

The organic-certified Protos Verdejo Cuvée, now sporting a sleek new label, offers a fresher, lighter take on traditional Verdejo, with notes of citrus, green apple and herbs.

Meanwhile the Protos Verdejo Reserva 2020, produced from hand-harvested vineyards, fermented and aged in 50% new French oak barrels, is an unctuous, dry white wine with a perfect balance between tropical and citrus fruit, and toasted notes of vanilla and pastry.

Aire de Protos Rosé produced from Protos' winery in Cigales DO

The spiritual home of Spanish rosé

Protos’s most recent exciting development came in 2020, when the winery planted its flag in the Cigales DO – the spiritual home of Spanish rosé. Here Protos produces its Aire de Protos Rosé (now with a brand new label), an elegant, pale-pink rosé made from a blend of red and white grapes (40% Tempranillo, 32% Garnacha, 13% Albillo, 7% Verdejo, 5% Sauvignon Blanc) from vines aged between 10 and 40 years.

For this premium rosé, grapes are harvested at night, to preserve freshness, and only free-run juice is used. This quality-focused process yields a delicate rosé with red and white fruit aromas and subtle floral notes.

From its foundation in Peñafiel in 1927 to the present, Protos has always maintained an attitude of constant improvement, with the sole aim of crafting wine of the highest possible quality. Thus as it expands from its home in Ribera del Duero, the company continues to embody the principle of its founders: whether making red, white or rosé wines, it strives to continuously improve and develop its winemaking approach.


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Logo of Protos winery in the Ribera del Duero region in Spain

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