|Castiglia e Leon (Spagna)
|San Millán Alonso, 49 - 47350 Quintanilla de Onésimo, Valladolid Spain
Dominio de Pingus stands out as the celebrated and undisputed leader of that clutch of world-class wineries that have emerged in the elite of world wine only in the last 35 years, from the Iberian region of Ribera del Duero. The estate's name recalls the childhood nickname of its founder, Danish engineer Peter Sissek, who arrived on the banks of the river in 1990 to oversee the qualification of a wine project called Hacienda Monasterio. Impressed by the breathtaking visit to some very old Tempranillo vineyards, he actually decided to get involved in the project himself, and as early as 1995, he was able to churn out the first bottles of Pingus. In 1996, placed as an intruder in a blind tasting in Bordeaux, he seduces none other than Robert Parker and the following year the legend takes flight: the ship carrying the entire allotment to the United States sinks off the Azores, making the wine even rarer and driving the price to the stars.
Dominio de Pingus resides within an area that to call extreme is no exaggeration: the Ribera del Duero stretches across north-central Spain, on the high plateaus to the east of Valladolid that reach 800 metres above sea level, as temperatures reach 40 degrees centigrade in summer and 18 below zero in winter. The vineyard occupies a total area of just 5 hectares in the area of the village of La Horra, divided into three different plots: San Cristobal, 1.2 hectares with 70-year-old vines, and just over 3.5 hectares adjacent to Parroso, 2.5 hectares of which are 60-year-old vines. The variety cultivated is exclusively Tinto Fino, the local name for Tempranillo, which since 2000 has been grown according to biodynamic principles, on varied soils ranging from clay to pure limestone.
The modest winery of Dominio de Pingus is located some fifty kilometres from the vineyards, in the centre of Quintanilla de Onésimo, where vinification is conducted in the most nature-friendly way possible. Fermentation involves the use of only indigenous yeasts and takes place in both steel tanks and wooden vats, while malolactic fermentation and ageing normally take place in oak barrels. No filtration, clarification or stabilisation using oenological aids is used. The expression of terroir is reflected in the creation of four different labels: Pingus, Flor de Pingus, Amelia and PSI, a project in collaboration with a number of local winegrowers to sensitise them to sustainable practices and more qualitative winemaking.