The Region of Bierzo is located at the Northwest side of the Province of Leon, at the North of Spain and borders the provinces of Orense, Lugo and Asturias.
It occupies an area of 3,000 square kilometres approximately.
It has a smallholder farming system due to that the properties have been passed from father to son by inheritance and in each of these transfers the pieces of land have been fractioned and divided each time it changed hands. In this respect, it is very similar to what has happened in Burgundy, for example.
It has moderate undulations that permit marking differences between the pieces of land best exposed to the sun and those which have less exposure, and each of them have potential to produce a different wine.
An average altitude of 650 m above sea level.
Its soil comprises a mixture of clay, limestone, quartzite and shale.
It has a moderate Mediterranean climate, with cold winters and warm summers without ever being excessively warm and the best part of the precipitations (some 700 mm/year) happen in winter.
Three types of viticulture exist in this area. The “traditional plantations” with 3,800 vines/HA planted in basins that must necessarily be cared for by hand (this is the only type of vine used by Dominio de Tares for their wines). Then, there is “the plants” which in Bierzo are the same as the traditional plantations but transformed to be able to employ tractors. One of every two rows of vines is removed so that the path is wider. The inconvenience of this is that with 2,200 plants/Ha, each vine produces many more grapes but of lesser quality than the previous variety. The third type is the modern “trellis”, very easy to mechanise, but as with the previous method, except on very few occasions, the grapes are of a lower quality than the traditional plantations.
The varieties that cohabit in Bierzo are: Palomino, Doña Blanca, Malvasía and Godello, as the white varieties; and Mencia and Garnacha Tintorera as the red varieties.
The main risks for the vine are usually fungal diseases and depending on the year, the spring ice, hailstone and the wind.
The maximum output per Ha are between 11,000 and 12,000 Kg depending on the variety. In Dominio de Tares they never exceed 5,000 Kg/Ha.