One of the most highly-regarded pieces of land in Ribera del Duero, the estate of Villacreces sits adjacent to Vega Sicilia along the Duero and at the center of the golden mile – a cluster of vineyards and estates considered by many critics to be the best in Valladolid if not the entire DO. There is written evidence that the first vines were planted on this estate in the 13th Century. During the 14th Century, it was run by Saint Pedro de Villacreces and, later on, with its perfect conditions for prayer and retreat, it became a monastery for Franciscan Friars to see contemplative solitude. In the 20th Century, theproperty belonged to a wealthy aristocratic family from Valladolid, who used to spend their holidays and weekends here. In the early 1970s, 40 hectares of vines were planted, which has now been increased to 60. Including a 200-year- old forest, the estate comprises a total of 115 hectares.
In 2003 the Antón family – owners of Izadi in Rioja – purchased the estate and invested in revitalizing the property and cellars. Most of the vines were not well-tended so while yields were low, the quality was uneven. The first step in rescuing the vineyards was to switch to sustainable and organic practices. Next was utilizing the access rights to the Duero dating back to the time when the property was a monastic retreat to gradually nurse the vines to their full potential, all while working the soils to force the roots deeper. The final step was to counter the vegetative vigor brought on by drip irrigation by carefully managing the canopy. The results are healthy vines that are less dependent on irrigation, revitalized soils, deeper root systems, and plants that are more self- regulating than before.
Pruno was born from a combination of grapes from sandier soils with a mix of old and young vine fruit from clay soils. It represents one of the greatest values in Ribera del Duero coming entirely from estate fruit bordered on two sides by the Duero, with Vega Sicilia and a vineyard belonging to Pingus on the other two sides. Nice address!