Fompedraza, a small village in Valladolid with a viticulture tradition within the D.O. Ribera del Duero, has witnessed how the Benito Hernando brothers – Gaspar, Fernando and Javier- have developed the Bodegas Briego project, thus restoring the tradition that their father had followed almost fifty years before. There is a great deal of ambition invested in Briego; a synonym for fighting, fighting for wine quality and for better vineyard management, for painstaking work and for the revitalization of Fompedraza.
After restructuring and recovering the ancient vineyards, in 1988 new planting was carried out within the areas of Curiel de Duero, Peñafiel, and Fompedraza. Widespread vineyards, always seeking the best terrain for the cultivation of the jewel of of Ribera del Duero, the Tempranillo or Tinto Fino, at altitudes reaching 910 metres. Seeing these vineyards you realize that the quality of Briego wines is managed in the fields, through vines tended with devotion, at the mercy of a continental climate that gets the best from each plant. This family business currently has 77 hectares, all producing Tempranillo, with the exception of a nominal percentage of Merlot.
The first wines
It is in 1992 when the first wine appeared from Bodegas Briego with D.O. Ribera del Duero; 20,000 bottles of a young wine aged six months in the cask. Their intention to produce great wines grew with the years, hand in hand with the structure of the winery, with extenstions and the addition of techniques and technology to tradition, always keeping in mind that to produce a great wine it is necessary to pamper nature and unite its fruits with the work. Since then, these three brothers have not stopped working and researching in the pursuit of wines recognized for their quality. All this savoir-faire stems from yields which are very limited, meaning that currently around 400,000 bottles are produced, and these are distributed via the catering trade and speciality dealers on both national and international markets.
Since the 1944 vintage, Bodegas Briego has won significant awards for this labour. Five consecutive vintages managed to achieve best Reserva de la Ribera del Duero in the Envero Awards. With their Reserva from 1995 they achieved the best Spanish wine in the Paradores Awards. Fiel 1998 achieved the eighth best wine in the world at Madrid Fusion, and Fiel 2004 also came third. The influental Financial Times wine critic, Giles MacDonogh, after a visit to Ribera del Duero, described Briego as his greatest discovery and was full of praise, comparing it the the great wines of Borgoña. Recently the prestigious American magazing Wine Advocate, directed by the critic Robert Parker, gave 91 points to Briego Crianza 2009 and 92 to Ankal Reserva 2009.
In other international competitions numerous gold and silver medals have been obtained, together with excellent reviews in the dedicated press.