Abadia Retuerta was founded in 1996 and is situated in an exceptional location, next to the legendary vineyards of Vega Sicilia on Ribera del Duero's “golden mile”. The vineyards surround the 12th century monastery of Santa Maria de Retuerta, which was built during the Spanish Reconquista, and two words were used to describe the spectacular view of the landscape - “ribula torta” which means a “winding” or “tortuous river bank”, and signifies the twisting River Duero as it wends a 70 mile path through the region. The monastery has now been restored and converted into a luxury hotel. The monks grew grapes and made wine, so the land here has always been dedicated to the vine, and Abadia Retuerta continue that thread of history. Planted at an altitude of between 700 and 850 metres above sea level, they have 204 hectares under vine, divided into 54 sub-plots, which comprise a wide variety of soil types, and are all planted with red grape varieties – 146ha Tempranillo, 40 Cabernet Sauvignon, 16 Merlot, 2 Syrah and 2 Petit Verdot. Abadia Retuerta are now owned by Novartis, the Swiss pharmaceutical company, and they have an impressive winemaking team; Pascal Delbeck, the oenologist from Saint Emilion's Château Belair, and Angel Anozibar, the only Spaniard to gain a degree in oenology from the University of Bordeaux. As Abadia Retuerta lies in the town of Sardón del Duero, and therefore just outside the DO of Ribera del Duero, it is not included in its appellation. However, this means that they can be more ingenious, creating their own distinct style using grape varieties not permitted in the Ribera del Duero appellation. The result is a range of innovative original wines with their own unique character, which comprise some of Spain's most critically acclaimed red wines.