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Pingus was established in 1995 by Peter Sisseck, who had already made a name for himself as winemaker at Hacienda Monasterio. He located three separate plots, each containing very old vines of Tinto Fino, and established the winery. 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. Dominio de Pingus has founded a joint project with local grape producers to make an old vine tempranillo called "PSI".