Peñafiel, Castilla y León, is essentially the center of the Ribera del Duero, but one would be hard pressed to cover this wine growing region using only one base from both a logistical and practical point of view.
Staying in the Valladolid province
Staying west of Peñafiel
For our exploration of the most prestigious wineries of the Valladolid section of the Ribera del Duero, we like to base ourselves at the 4-star Posada Fuente de la Aceña in Quintanilla de Onésimo, a 300- year old restored water mill. the project of architect Roberto del Valle, who also designed Peñafiel’s Wine Museum. The inn offers 22 contemporary rooms, all having access to a private terrace facing the Duero, affording utter tranquility and total relaxation. The Posada, a member of the Posadas Reales de Castilla y León, is a only a few minutes walk from the prestigious Dominio de Pingus cellars and a short drive from legendary Vega Sicilia. It houses a fine gourmet restaurant where the area’s great winemakers, such as Peter Sisseck of Pingus, entertain their guests.
On the eastern edge of the Valladolid province, along the Golden Mile (Milla de Oro), a couple of minutes east of the village of Quintanilla de Onésimo, is Bodegas Arzuaga Navarro, with its 96-room, 5-star hotel and spa. The hotel’s restaurant, Taller Arzuaga, is the new gastronomic project overseen by Michelin stared chef Víctor Gutiérrez. Recommended by the New York Times as one of the 52 essential global destinations in 2018.
On the north side of the Ebro river, about a 20-minute drive from Peñafiel, is the 79-room 5-star Castilla Termal Monastery of Valbuena, a 12th-century Cistercian monastery surrounded by 4.5 hectares of vineyards and it’s own organic vegetable and spice gardens in the village of San Bernardo.
For those wanting a more exclusive luxury experience, Le Domaine, on the spectacular estate of Abadía Retuerta, offers 22 luxurious guest quarters in the reconverted 12th-century abbey twenty minutes west of Peñafiel. This luxury property, rated the number one hotel in Spain and Portugal and number two in Europe by Condé Nast in 2018, includes a gourmet restaurant, a wine spa, yoga room, gym and outdoor pools. The abbey’s chapel is available for private events, including weddings.
Staying in Peñafiel
Thirty minutes drive west of Aranda del Douro, in the center of Peñafiel, is winemaker Alejandro Fernández’s Hotel Pesquera AF. This very attractive 4-star property, a dramatic conversion of a former flour mill, has 36 wine-themed rooms and five duplex suites, a wine spa (of course!), indoor pool, gourmet restaurant, the Luna Llena, a relaxing outdoor garden and terrace, handy parking garage and will provide deluxe accommodations right in the heart of town.
For those on a more modest budget, the Convento las Claras is a comfortable 4-star located in the historic center of Peñafiel offering a spa, pool and has its own restaurant.
Staying south of Peñafiel
A few minutes south of Peñafiel is the immaculate and cosseting La Vida Wine-Spa in the tiny village of Aldeayuso, a few minutes south of Peñafiel. This warm and welcoming rural hotel offers 12 spacious double rooms and 5 junior suites along with a complete array of wine therapy treatments, including red wine baths. Designed and decorated according to Feng-Shui, it makes a quiet and very comfortable base while exploring the eastern half of the Ribera del Duero and the atmospheric town of Peñafiel, its magnificent castle and Museum of Wine. It also boasts a petit but fine gourmet restaurant, Guyot, only open for dinner.
Staying north of Peñafiel
This restored castle, Residencia Real Castillo de Curiel, can be found on a small hilltop surrounded a field of poppies and vineyards, just to the north of Peñafiel in the small village of Curiel. There is a small outdoor pool, restaurant and bicycles if you want to spend a few hours riding through the vineyards.
Staying in the Burgos province
Staying In and around Aranda de Duero
An intriguing option for both history and wine buffs is the Posada Real de Ventosilla, a Royal Country Inn, another member of Posadas Reales de Castilla y León. It is adjacent to the estate of Bodegas Prado Rey, Real Sitio de Ventosilla. This 17th-century palace, with its coats of arms of the houses of Lerma and Medinaceli still intact, was built in somber Herrerian-style for the Duke of Lerma to provide lodging for King Philip III during his hunting trips to the area. This historic inn provides eighteen rooms with a/c, TV and Internet connection, the grounds offer both a pool and tennis courts. The hotel organizes tours and tastings at its Prado Rey winery, and very reasonably priced dinners are served for hotel guests only during the week, but is open to everyone on Saturdays, offering a 35€ menu for lunch, after a visit to the bodega.
East of Aranda de Duero
Kinedomus, a small rural spa-hotel with a pool, is located in the Burgos province a few minutes east of Aranda de Duero, 4 km west of the village of Fresnillo de las Dueñas, on the banks of the Duero River. Perfect for the budget conscious. It’s convenient for exploring the wineries in the Soria province such as Bodegas Gormaz and Bodegas Antídoto in San Esteban de Gormaz. Nearby, on the way to San Esteban in La Vid, you’ll find La Casona de Vid, a Bib Gourmand.