A well-know Ribera del Duero producer, wine grower Carmelo Rodero successfully became a winemaker in 1990. He owns over 120 hectares of vines around the village of Pedrosa del Duero, where the main grape is Tempranillo (or Tinto Fino as it is also called in this region), with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot making their way to some blends; Syrah and Petit Verdot have been planted recently on an experimental basis. Nowadays, Carmelo’s daughters Beatriz and María, the fifth generation of wine growers, have joined their father and are in charge of winemaking and sales respectively.
Vineyards are planted an altitude ranging from 750 meters to 859 meters; some 60% of them are trellised while the rest are traditional bush vines. The region’s extreme continental climate means a delayed pruning with yields reaching 4,000 kilos per hectare. Green pruning is done only on the sunset side of the plant thus avoiding an excess of sunlight onto the grape bunches.
Fermentation facilities were designed by Carmelo Rodero himself to focus entirely on gravity. Stainless steel tanks are placed on a turntable which slowly rotates until the desired vat is set under the sorting table. Délestage is commonly used for extraction; every parcel and grape variety is separately fermented.
The Rodero family produces around 550,000 bottles with half a dozen different wines. The unoaked Tempranillo, Rodero’s best known wine, popularized the brand in the market and is considered one of the best young reds in the appellation. However, the Carmelo Rodero 9 Months (€9.5) and the Crianza (€16.5), which includes 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, are currently made in larger quantities. The Reserva (€26, 44,000 bottles, 15 months in French oak an six in American oak) has the same blend and comes from vines that are over 30 years old. Top labels sourced from the family’s oldest vineyards include the 100% Tempranillo Pago de Valtarreña (€37, 24 months in barrel) and TSM (€52, 18 months in oak barrels), which stands for Tempranillo (75%), Cabernet (10%) and Merlot (15%). In general the wines offer intensity, high-quality fruit and balance managing to keep oak under control most of the time.
In order to welcome visitors, the winery has recently expanded facilities to build new venues and tastings rooms as well as a restaurant.