This is the second project of the Moro family in Ribera del Duero. Launched in 2007 in Castrillo de Duero (Valladolid), it aims to provide a more modern and sophisticated approach to the region. From a vinous point of view, the idea was to craft bolder reds from 50 hectares of vineyards planted with the local clone of Tempranillo (Tinto Fino), which the family has always stand up for.
Most vineyards are grown around the winery. They are located at altitudes ranging between 780 and 850 metres with soils containing varying proportions of clay and limestone. The modern and functional facilities include a semi-subterranean aging room 70 metres long containing up to 2,000 barrels.
The range of wines begins with the entry-level brand Hito which includes a rosé (10,000 bottles, about €6) made -predictably- with 100% Tinto Fino and a youthful and briefly aged red (300,000 bottles, €7.5). Cepa 21 (200,000 bottles, €17) is the flagship red reflecting the style of the winery. It comes from selected vineyards located in three villages, Castrillo de Duero, Pesquera de Duero and Nava de Duero, all of them lying on chalky-clay soils with an additional pebbly character. Compared with Emilio Moro, its counterpart at the founding winery, the style of Cepa 21 is built around ripe darker fruit and toasty nuances.
The more recent label to join the group is Malabrigo (5,000 bottles, €48). This top red comes from a north facing plot with a marked wind exposure. Stony soils counteract this fresh character though, providing good ripening levels.
In an attempt to differentiate both projects, Cepa 21 has started using Burgundy-shaped bottles for its entire range of wines.
Wine tourism is a strong point at Cepa 21. The winery has its own restaurant curated by chef Alberto Soto where wine lovers can choose between traditional or avant-garde cuisine. Visitors are offered different types of tastings, some of them including wines from Emilio Moro, as well as visits to a nearby wine museum or Peñafiel’s castle and taylor-made activities during harvest time. Large events can also be held at the winery’s facilities.