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Next to the road which goes from Valladolid to Soria, right in the heart of Castile, the names “La Bodega la Primera” (original name) and “Bodega Ribera del Duero” are still in the front of the winery building. However, almost from the start, Protos is the name by which the company is known. It was named after the 1927 and 1928 wines presented in the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition. The first wines produced by the winery, hence the name of “Protos” meaning “the first” in Greek. Winning the gold medal in Barcelona was unusual, as it was a litmus test at the very beginning for the local wine. Few people know about the fact that Protos gave the name to the certificate of origin Ribera del Duero.

The certificate of origin was founded in 1927 as a cooperative of 11 winemakers and it is consolidated as the second best-known classes of Spanish wine, after Rioja. Thus, if there is one thing Ribera del Duero can boast of, it is the unquestionable solidity of its past. Archaeological remains have been found in Pintia (Padilla de Duero, Valladolid), which prove that people drunk wine in vessels by the banks of the river Duero almost from the 4th century BC. Nowadays, the boundaries of this region are set along the river course over almost 115 kilometres, with a landmark in Roa de Duero (Burgos). The winery Protos is settled there, the origin of all the wines grown in the region. The grounds for the cultivation and elaboration of a reddish wine with net flavours.

There is an explanation. Protos’ parent company is a vintage winery, dug in the mountain right at the foot of the monumental castle of Peñafiel, one of the most important fortresses in the region and the headquarters of the Museum of Wine. One of the best Spanish and European wines matures in its insides. Tradition and prestige. Oenology tourists are greatly amazed when they go inside 2 kilometres and a half of natural caves and underground galleries. Some sort of labyrinth which helps preserve the key to success: temperature and humidity naturally given to this site. The access door is separate from the castle and some of its galleries date back to the 16th century when Cristobal Colón had already landed in the Americas. The very same wineries that the Cistercian Order used as a refuge where, secretly but rudely, produced wine.

The grape variety par excellence to elaborate the red wines in Protos is Tempranillo. The plots of land to grow the grapes lie between the provinces of Burgos, Valladolid and Segovia, a nutrient-rich land and an imperfectly perfect climate. A continental Mediterranean climate with dry and hot summers and long rigorous winters with night frosts that can plunge to minus 18 degrees centigrade. Experts agree that large temperature fluctuations between day and night benefit the slow ripening of grapes, which contribute to a higher accumulation of sugars as well as a great concentration of tannins and polyphenols.

Grape harvesting is completely manual. Under a rigorous process of selection and quality of the grape, with an efficient implementation of the latest trends in elaboration, this wine is one of the most coveted in Europe. Although Protos is present in 96 different countries, Spain is still the main market representing nearly 80%. Possibly encouraged by emotional attachments and cultural reasons, there is a great presence in Central and South America too. Th is is the only winery located on the banks of the river Duero selling two of its references, Protos Reserva and Protos Gran Reserva, in Heathrow airport, the third busiest airport in the world. However, this decision is no coincidence. Iceland and Indonesia have been the last destinations chosen.

What is the secret? Hundred-year-old vineyards, a strict manual selection of grapes and a great investment in R&D and innovation activities. For its commitment to quality, it is the only Spanish winery distinguished as a brand for excellence, together with other well-known companies such as Coca-Cola or FC Barcelona.

Th e privileged climate in the area of the river Duero allows having top-quality grape harvests as it falls within the best parameters in every season of the year. Th e grape is provided with the perfect alcohol degree and acidity to delight the most demanding palates. Wines with very specific features depending on the category.

True to uphold its position as a front runner in the wine industry, Protos moved a step forward to the extension of its headquarters, designed by the Pritzker Architecture Prize Richard Rogers. A building of 20.000 square metres and an investment of 36 million Euros. Th e new Protos winery in Peñafiel is an icon in the area under the certificate of origin Ribera del Duero of Spain. A new building to extend and modernise production facilities. It imitates the structure of barrels bubbling up to the surface. Cool storage of the wine is created by effective use of the thermal mass around the building.

The vintage wine is the one that describes the philosophy of the winery best. Powerful in the mouth, fruity, toasted, intense, with good acidity and long aftertaste, slightly smoked. A powerful, expressive, elegant red wine.

Protos has consolidated as a reference company for oenology tourism in the area thanks to this large project. Almost 40.000 tourists visited the winery in 2018. No other winery under the certificate of origin Ribera del Duero welcomes more visitors.

The third winery of its property is in La Seca (Valladolid), located in the heart of the area under the certificate of origin Rueda, where wines are made with the Verdejo grape variety. Th e white wine by Protos, another bet on the winning horse.

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