Cillar de Silos | Ribera del Duero
Cillar de Silos is located in the village of Quintana del Pidio, within the Ribera Burgos area. The Aragon family (Amelia, Robert and Oscar) own 57 ha of vineyards in different villages in a 10 mile radius. The top wines, Torresilo and Flor de Silos, are made from 40-80 year old vines, although Cillar de Silos also own vines as old as 100 years, plus a small parcel of pre-phylloxera vines that are reserved for Flor de Silos. A small amount of the white variety Albillo and also some Moscatel vines are interplanted with Tempranillo in the old vineyards and a small percentage of these (less than 5%) find their way into the red wines, adding freshness and perfume.
Sustainable practices are employed in the vineyard. Due to the nature of the climate, the vines do not often suffer from diseases. The occasional hail damage is the biggest problem they encounter here. All vineyards are hand harvested (Amelia’s father, Amelio, leads a group of pickers with an average age of 75)...not quite the UK pension age yet!
When the grapes arrive at the winery, they are sorted , destemmed and crushed. Cillar de Silos strive to produce wines that are fresh, supple and not over extracted. The intent is on elegance and they therefore keep maceration on skins relatively short and discard all stalks. Malolactic fermentation is done in barrel to increase the texture of the wines. Several types of oak are used but, in general, Francois Freres is the preferred – the Aragons consider it the best oak in terms of bringing fruit to the foreground.
After bottling, top wines like Torresilo are aged in underground cellars at their old, traditional winery (pre-1975). These cellars are 14 m underground and around 30 km in length, they have a constant temperature of 13°C and have been in use for 300 years.