Dominio de Pingus | Ribera del Duero
Dispatched to Spain in 1990, to the then obscure area of Ribera del Duero, Peter Sisseck began work on a short-term project which, subsequently, enjoyed much praise - Hacienda Monasterio. A victim of his own success, Peter found himself in total charge. Hacienda Monasterio established, Peter Sisseck started to get very twitchy. Instinct, born of his Bordeaux experience, called him to seek another challenge.
Convinced that the Ribera del Duero had the potential to produce Spain’s finest wines Peter sought out parcels of ancient vines, on perfectly exposed terroir, which he instinctively knew would produce something exciting, if in small quantities. Establishing Pingus in 1995 his aim was to produce "an unmistakably Spanish, terroir-driven wine... a garage wine."
Peter's tiny production of fewer than 500 cases comes from three parcels of ancient, head-pruned Tempranillo vines. His true genius is demonstrated in the vineyard. The gnarled old vines have been carefully husbanded back to health - the trunks straightened, lowered, and pruned back to 1-2 buds per stump. Yields range from a high of 20 to an incredibly low 9 hl/ha.
"Tinto Fino is important," he explains. "A lot of cuttings of Tempranillo have come in from Rioja, so not all vineyards in Ribera del Duero are Tinto Fino. There is a difference. All the vines in my plots are very old. They have never been fertilised nor treated with pesticides and all grow following the traditional en vaso system. They are perfect." After fermentation in steel of large wooden vat, the wines are raised in 100% new French oak.
These are trailblazing wines which have had the world at its feet from the very outset.