Feeling the crisp air begin to settle in our bones, we immediately set off to tour the buildings located near the entrance of the bodega. Two large buildings stand behind the main office and conference rooms; one holding the fermentation tanks, while the other held the repository of wine bottles and barrels. Not much to report, other than their pristine and clean nature, which are usually good indicators of a winery that takes pride in their product.
As we wound out way up the streets, I started to pick out the stones stacked in conical shapes that acted as air vents for the caves below. Rounding a slight corner, we were confronted by arbitrarily placed air shafts fading into the fog and a small stone building in the foreground. It was then that Roberto pulled out one of the largest keys that I have ever seen. Although it reminded me of a key you might find in a museum that opened the sacred door to the King’s chamber; this key led into the small building housing the entrance to their underground cellar. In all honesty, I wasn’t expecting anything grandiose or unusual within the cellar below. Not the day before I had visited a very similar cave, leading me to believe that the majority of them would be either similar or comparable, but I was absolutely mistaken. The modern design of the main Bodega mirrored the cave below.
I was impressed before we had even begun our descent down the steep staircase into the caves below. A warren of tunnels wound their way through the earth coated with sprayed on cement and ceilings high enough to allow small tractors to transport the wine stored in layers along the walls. It was truly an amazing sight to see. Unlike the rugged cave I had seen at Lagar de Isilla, this was a modern take on an old tradition. Temperature and humidity regulated by the earth itself give the wines an optimal environment for aging. As a result, the wines that need bottle age before being released to the public are kept safe by the earth from which the grapes grew. Immaculately cleaned and preserved, it demonstrated the extent to which Cillar de Silo took to ensure their wines aged gracefully.
When I asked Roberto what he thought of it, he simply said, “the best is yet to come”. I look forward to tasting more of Cillar de Silos wines in the near future.
D.O./Region: Ribera del Duero
Address: Paraja “El Soto”, 09443 Quintana del Pidio
Telephone: +34 947 545 126
Fax: +34 947 545 605
Hectares of Vines: 48 h
Wine maker: Oscar Aragón García
Varietals Grown/Elaborated: Tempranillo
Total Production bottles: 200,000, 30,000+/- exported
Wines Produced: Cillar de Silos Joven, Cillar de Silos Crianza, Torresilo
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