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Like many recent projects undertaken by Torres Family, climate change was very much in the mind of the Catalan group when they expanded into Ribera del Duero in 2004. Their search for cool growing sites at high elevation took them to Fompedraza (Valladolid). This village on the high plateau, locally known as páramo, is just under 10 kilometres south of Peñafiel and benefits from extreme growing conditions at 900 metres above sea level.

Growing vines in these shallow soils with high limestone content is not easy. "It requires considerable previous work, lifting and fracturing the soil so that the plant’s roots can penetrate deeper than 50 centimetres," explains winemaker Juan Ramón García, who also manages the winery.

Pago del Cielo owns 12 hectares of vines on the páramo in Fompedraza plus some additional plots across the Duero river in Piñel and Pesquera, and futher east in the renowned village of La Horra (Burgos).

The first wine, released in the 2005 vintage, was Celeste Crianza (600,000 bottles, €18). Grapes are sourced from local growers based a...

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