ValSotillo wines, in the Jaleo Dubai wine list

ValSotillo wines are now in the wine list of the new restaurant that the Spanish chef José Andrés has recently open in Dubai. Jaleo Dubai is situated inside the luxury hotel Atlantis The Royal, in the exclusive residential area of Jumeirah Palm.

This is a new landmark in Bodegas Ismael Arroyo-Valsotillo history. Dubai is a new market we add to our exportation list. An interesting place because Dubai is now a popular expat destination in the world, thanks to its tax benefits, stable economy, strategic location, safety, technology and infraestructures.

ValSotillo wines will be served at Jaleo Dubai with Spanish food, such as tapas, paella, iberian jam, Spanish omelet and cheeses.

Jaleo Dubai was inaugurated last January and shares the atonishing and luxurious spaces of Atlantis The Royal Hotel  with other worldwide well-known cooks, like  Gordon Ramsay, Nobu, Milos or  Heston Blumenthal   Atlantis Dubai – Jaleo by José Andrés

Bodegas Ismael Arroyo-ValSotillo exports wines to Europe, United States,  Canadá, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Mexico, China, Korea…  Our main exportation markets are Germany and the USA.  We would like to remind that our wines have also been in Jaleo restaurant in Washington DC,  also owned by chef José Andrés.

Where to find the best Tempranillo wines

Ribera del Duero has selected us among 3 wineries where Tempranillo grape variety wines are best tasted.
Our wines are elaborated with this variety 100% Tempranillo,  also known in Ribera del Duero as Tinta del País or Tinto Fino.

Here are some wineries in Ribera del Duero where you can taste the best Tempranillo wines:

Tempranillo is the main grape in the Spanish wine region of Rioja. In other Spanish regions it could be found under the names Tinto Fino, Tinta del País, Aragones, Valdepeñas, or Tinta de Toro. Tempranillo is also grown in Portugal, where it is included in Port wine under the name Tinta Roriz.

Tempranillo Grape Profile

Where is Tempranillo from?

Tempranillo originates from Spain, which is also its main producer, followed by Portugal in the Old World. More precisely, Tempranillo is one of the main red grapes in Rioja, Ribera del Duero, and Douro wine regions. Today the grape is grown also in countries such as France, Argentina, Australia, the US, and Mexico.

Interesting story about Tempranillo

Tempranillo in Spanish means early. The grape was called in such manner since it tends to ripen much earlier than the other grapes in Spain. It is considered to be native to Rioja, however across the whole Spain it is referred as «the noble grape». Another interesting story: for quite some time Italians were growing the grape they commonly referred to as Malvasia Nera, which they believed was a local Italian variety – not until the DNA research on Malvasia Nera was carried out, which proved that the grape was nothing but a genetical clone of the old Spanish Tempranillo that had been brought to Tuscany during the Roman times.

Tempranillo grape characteristics

The roots of Tempranillo easily absorb potassium, which leads to an increased acid content in the grape. This grape comes from sunny climates and grows very well being surrounded by mountains that protect it from the wind. It loves sunlight as it helps to reach the maximum sugar level. On the other hand, cold night temperatures help a lot for the tannins and acid to reach their perfect balance point.

Tempranillo Wines

Tempranillo aged in oak barrels makes a wine that improves with age and gives aromas of plum, tobacco, and leather. Whereas young Tempranillo gives us fresh and fruity tones with diverse palate of flavors. Tempranillo can be find in almost all wines from Rioja and Ribera del Duero regions. Tempranillo is usually blended with Grenache, Mazuela, Graciano, and, even, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Tinta Roriz (Portuguese name for Tempranillo) is one of the main grape variety in Port wine blend.

What to pair with Tempranillo?

The dominant flavors of Tempranillo go well with beef or lamb. Beside that, its great versatility gives ability to pair wine perfectly with tomato-based dishes like pasta or grilled vegetables.

Lamb And Chassagne - Montrachet

ValSotillo’s Ribera del Duero tipicity attracts USA market

ValSotillo wines are having a very good acceptance in the USA  market. Our customers love the authentic Ribera del Duero’s tipicity they show.

You can find ValSotillo wines in California, North Carolina, Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Texas and Washington, where we have wine distributors, but we have also customers all over the USA.

Laurent, from  Princeton Corkscrew, one of our best clients in the USA, says: Today, ValSotillo continues to be a leading reference of quality as one of the top artisanal producers in the region. Ismael established ValSotillo in 1979, however, his family has been passing down the accumulated knowledge about their vineyards and cellars from generation to generation since the 16th century!

He also says that he was lucky enough to start working with Bodegas Ismael Arroyo-Valsotillo just over five years ago!

To know more about what are they telling about us, follow this link:

Besides, our wine ValSotillo Finca Buenavista has got the following scores from different wine experts:

An outstanding XVI century network of cellars to make wine in Sotillo de la Ribera

General plan of the historical wineries and “lagares” in Sotillo de la Ribera


Sotillo de la Ribera keeps an outstanding network of cellars to make wine which dates back to the XVI century. They are exceptional because of their saze, arquitecture and situation, says a local investigation .  Bodegas Ismael Arroyo-ValSotillo  has in heritage one where they age the wines and that is available for visitors.

There are now 99 “lagares” (Spanish word for the old wineries, where grapes where pressed by the feet), 86underground cellars and 130 zarceras (holes for ventilation), that has atracted investigators attention .

They date back to the XVI century. Old documents from the XVII century say that in the small town of Sotillo de la Ribera the  wine production in the lagares and underground cellars was over 3 million litres, a very important amount taht meant that it was a principal economic activity.


Inside ValSotillo’s underground cellar visitors can find 2 other documents, from 1902 and 1948 that talk about the quality of the wines made in Sotillo.


Wine diplomas of 1902 and 1948

Photo  from 100 years ago with the winweries in the background


Around a third part  of the underground cellars are used by groups of friends and families to meet inside and have dinners, fiestas or other celebrations.

Bodegas Ismael  Arroyo-ValSotillo is the only one winery in the  Denominación de Origen Ribera del Duero that owns a historical underground cellar to age thier wines.

Its almost half a km long, with beautiful hancarved galleries. The temperature inside is all the year the same, (11-12 degrees Celsius)  and  it is open for visitors all the year, from Monday to Saturday.  You can find more information about our wine tours in this website.  Besides,  Bodegas Ismael Arroyo-ValSotillo belongs to Ruta del Vino Ribera del Duero.


ValSotillo ages in this 16th century winery



The best reviews for five top ValSotillo wines

 Bodegas Ismael Arroyo – ValSotillo wines


We have five top wines according to the best wine experts’ reviews.  Would you like to know a bit more about them?

We are very proud and grateful for  Tim Atkin  MW’s reviews.  He has included some of our wines in his  special report  Ribera del Duero 2020/21 Top 100. Besides, this year we’ve got reviews in the prestigious German magazine Falstaff and in three of  the most known Spanish wine guides:  Peñín,  Gourmets  and  Wine Up.


These are our first best marks:

  • ValSotillo Gran Reserva 2014   

90 Tim Atkin

  • ValSotillo VS 2016 “40 Aniversario”

95 Gourmets,   95 Tim Atkin,  94 Vivir el Vino,  93 Peñín

  • ValSotillo VS Reserva 2016

94 Gourmets,  94 Tim Atkin, 90 Wine Up

  • ValSotillo Reserva 2015

95 Gourmets,  90 Peñín,  92 Wine Up

  • ValSotillo Crianza 2016  

92 Tim Atkin,  92 Falstaff,  89 Peñín,  90 Wine Up

  • ValSotillo Finca Buenavista 2017  

91 Tim Atkin

And these are some of the reviews:

Tim Atkin:

95 ValSotillo VS 40th Anniversary 2016: Not many wineries in Ribera del Duero have racked up 40 vintages and this is a very stylish tribute to founder Ismael Arroyo. Made with Tinto Fino from 100-year-old vines in Sotillo de la Ribera, it`s appealingly complex and balsamic with savoury, tobacco pouch notes, sculpted tannins and chalky acidity. Herbal, minty and long on the palate. 2021-2026”.

94 ValSotillo Reserva 2016: “Named after one of the pioneers of the Ribera del Duero Denominación de Origen, Ismael Arroyo makes impressive wines from its vineyards in high-altitude Sotillo de la Ribera. Aged in French and American oak, this is a focused, refreshing style showing stony minerality, blackberry pastille flavours, racy acidity and fine-boned tannins. 2021-28.

Falstaff Magazine:

92 ValSotillo Crianza 2016:  “Jammy blackberry  flavours, notes of orange peel, plums, tobacco, spices, notes of fine oak, sculpted tannins, minerality, good estructure and elegance”.


     Crianza ValSotillo 2016 review in Falstaff magazine

ValSotillo VS 2016 - 40 aniversario, un vino especial.

ValSotillo VS 2016 – 40th anniversary, exclusive wine

In Bodegas Ismael Arroyo we are celebrating our 40th anniversary, so we have made and release to the market a new and exclusive wine,  

ValSotillo VS 2016 – 40 anniversary.

In October 1979 Ismael Arroyo started as a private winemaker, working his first harvest  with his family in Sotillo de la Ribera.  Several months later, (spring 1980), the first bottles of Bodegas Ismael Arroyo were  released to the market with the brands Mesoneros de Castilla and ValSotillo.

40 years later, we want to commemorate this important milestone. So we have made a special and exclusive wine,  ValSotillo VS-2016- 40 anniversary. It is a limited production on only 9.820 bottles of 75 cl and 190 Magnum bottles. All of them distinguished wit a 40th anniversary commemorative label.

It is special because it has been made with 100% Tinta del País grapes (Tempranillo), selected from centuries-old vineyards located over slopes, in the hilly landscape of Sotillo de la Ribera.

The wine has been 24 months in American and French oak barrels, in the 16th century underground cellar, at a constant temperature of 12º C, (53º Farenheit), excellent conditions for aging and keep elegant and richness sensations.

Once bottled, the wine remains in the bottle inside the underground cellar until it is released to the market.


It has a beautiful cherry colour with garnet edge. Genuine aromas from the grape variety and this special terroir; it smells of ripe fruit, spices, creamy and toasted oak.

Tasty and long palate, this wine shows character and long finish.

It is an exclusive wine, with an extraordinary capacity to evolve and improve in the bottle. It can last very long.

Enoturistas México

Visitors from 42 countries in ValSotillo

Bodegas Ismael Arroyo has received in 2019 about 4,000 visitors, 57% from abroad. The total number of foreign visitors has reached 2,200, 10% more than the previous year and they have arrived from 42 countries, 10 more than in 2018.

The highest number of visits has taken place in May, with almost 600 and in June, (around 500). That means an average of 25/30 daily visitors.

The winery is open to visitors from Monday to Saturday. 

Wine lovers – USA and Puerto Rico

Not only the beauty and history of our 16th century handcarved cellar is an important attraction, but also the effort of the whole family to personalize every tour, offering a unique experience.

We are also members of  Ruta del Vino Ribera del Duero, which was the third wine route most visited in Spain in 2018. And we are founders of Denominación de Origen Ribera del Duero, which is getting more and more popularity and prestige.










Reviews of ValSotillo in New York Times or books  such as  Wine Trails , edited by Lonely Planet, help wine tourists to find us.  And some reports of our visitors and  wine lovers:

Booking in advance is needed to visit ValSotillo:

More information and prices in this link:

ValSotillo appeals to wine tourists from all around the world

Bodegas Ismael Arroyo-ValSotillo, situated in Ribera del Duero Appellation of Origin, appeals to wine tourists from all around the world.

People from at least 32 different countries have visited this 400 years old winery, one of the pioneers in Ribera del Duero.

                                      University students USA

Most of our visitors come from the United States. But we have also reservations of winelovers from Mexico, Portugal, Switzerland, China, Puerto Rico, Belgium, Dominincan Republic, Russia, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Australia, Panama, Argentina, Denmark, Philippines, Holland, Ecuador, Colombia, Romania, Israel, Italy, Japan, Sweden, Turkey, Korea, Peru, Taiwan and Brazil.

                              Winelovers Manila (Philippines) and USA

In total, we get around 2.000 foreign visitors per year. Most of them arrange an organized wine tour, others contact by mail directly with the winery and some have read about ValSotillo in books or reports, like the one that wrote Jada Jan in the New York Times, considering Bodegas Ismael Arroyo-ValSotillo as her favourite.

All our visitors love the opportunity of having a first-hand experience of wine history and tradition, explained by the owners of the winery, who are direct descendants of the first winemakers in Sotillo de la Ribera, in the XVI century.

                         Historical cellar XVI century 400 years old winery

The walk through the outstanding hand carved underground historical cellar, preserved as it was four centuries ago and the reading of old documents from the XVII, XVIII and beginning of the XX century, talking about the family ancestors and how they made wine are highly valued by visitors.

           Winelovers from USA, Puerto Rico, Canada, Venezuela and Singapore.


Harvest is an intense time in every winery.  Bodegas Ismael Arroyo ValSotillo is situated in Ribera del Duero where harvest takes place usually in the first two weeks of October.

Harvest is the end of a long year working in the vineyards.  September is the most important month because it is when grapes become ripe.

We start at the end of August selecting bunches to limit their number, because lower yields generally result in riper grapes with more concentrated flavours.

In September we check the color, level of sugar of the grapes in the vines, seeds… This analysis helps us to make a decision about when to start picking the grapes.

The grapes are hand-harvested. We sort bunches in the vines. When they arrive to the winery in cases they go to a hopper and a de-stemmer which separates the berries from the stems. These are ejected and berries are pumped directly to the stainless steel tanks. 

Alcoholic fermentation starts in 2 or 3 days in the tanks. We never add commercial yeasts. We start fermentation with the natural yeasts in the skin of the grapes. During 10 days the sugar changes in alcohol.  We pump the juice several times to keep wet the cap of skins that usually floates on the top of the tanks. This is very important to take the flavours, colour and tanins from the skins.

When alcoholic fermentation ends, we take the skins to make a soft press and  we wait till the malolactic fermentation starts.  It changes malic acids in lactic acids.

This is a very attractive time for winelovers, which increase the visits to our winery.  We are members of Ruta del Vino Ribera del Duero, so in harvest time we offer our visitors (adults and children) to taste the grapes and the grape juice.

At the end of November vine leaves dry and fall so we can start to prune their branches. Then everything starts  one more time  in the vineyards.

Jada Yuan (New York Times): “ValSotillo, my favorite”

At the begining of 2018 The New York Times  journalist Andrew Ferren  published 52 Places to GO in 2018 which included two Spanish destinations:  Ribera del Duero and  Sevilla.

Some months later the NYT columnist Jada Yuan, visited each destination. “In Spain I just felt like myself”, she writes.

To visit Ribera del Duero she signed up for a full day small group tour with Wine Tourism Spain.

By the end of a great tipsy day with a family of four from Colombia and an introduction to distinct wines I never would have found on my own, I felt spoiled for all subsequent tours”, she says  about Ribera del Duero tour.

The last stop was our winery, ValSotillo, which Jada described as “mi favorite”.

The two brothers who run it make their wine im 16th-century hand-chiseled caves. And their Gran reserva was so memorable, I made an hourlong detour another day tobuy a bottle  -a wholesale steal at 42 euros”, describes the NYT columnist.

This is what we try to give to our visitors….  Nice and unique experiencies.


This is the link to Jada’s report: