History of the Denomination
LIt is documented that in the 10th Century owners of vineyards appear in different municipalities of the region, such as Cubillas or Corcos.
The first settlers of the region were the Vacceos, conquered by the Romans in the 2nd Century B.C.; later invasions of Germanic and Arab Barbarians would arrive. The reconquest brought people from other regions that mixed their blood with that of the already surviving aislated groups, giving place to the current existing population.
These lands retain countless traces of the magnificent past. Many castles stake out their townships, like that of Trigueros del Valle, that of Fuensaldaña- today seat of the Regional Assembly of Castilla y León- or that of Mucientes where Juana la Loca stayed.
Near the castles, and when peace was strengthening, the vineyards started to expand, especially the property of monasteries. They needed the wine both for worship as well as for their private consumption.
In Dueñas, in the palace of the Condes de Buendía, was Fernando el Católico dressed as muleteer in order to meet Isabelle and to prepare the betrothals. He returned there again when he became a widower to unite himself with Germana de Foix. In Cigales ex-tutors and royal favourites of Alfonso XI “the Righteous” were faced against each other. Pedro I “the Cruel” was reconciled with his bastard brothers, and Juan II did the same with the Infantes of Aragón.
The wines of Cigales reached great fame in Spain and abroad. When the filoxera (a yellow-coloured insect half a milimetre in size) attacked the French vineyards, the wines of Cigales arrived as far as Burdeaux to replace that lost in French lands.
The importance that this wine-producing region had in years past, it is suffice to say that in 1888, it was already producing more than 15 million kilograms of grape.
The district of Cigales, which holds the Designation of Origin, runs along the northern sector of the Depression of the Duero, covering an area of 574 km_ on both sides of the River Pisuerga. The vineyards are situated at an average altitude of 750 metres and they cover an area which spans from the city of Valladolid (“El Berrocal” Vineyard) to the town of Dueñas in the province of Palencia, including Cabezón de Pisuerga, Cigales, Corcos del Valle, Cubillas de Santa Marta, Fuensaldaña, Mucientes, Quintanilla de Trigueros, San Martin de Valvení, Trigueros del Valle and Valoria la Buena.
Commercialisation and promotion
87% of the production is commercialised in bottles; demijohns are only sold by a few small wine cellars which produce wine from their own vineyards. In general:
• 40% is sold to the provincial market.
• 30% is sold to the regional market.
• The remaining 30% is sold to the national and international market.
The regional market is centred on the provinces of Valladolid, Palencia, Segovia and Salamanca. In 1992, Cigales wines became present in some European countries, mainly in Belgium, Germany and Holland and in 1996; the United States started to buy Cigales wines.
The Regulatory Council pays an important part of its budget to promote our wines in press campaigns in the existing markets, and by attending trade fairs.
In 1997, some of the registered wine cellars started to export wines with the Cigales Designation of Origin as a result of the increase in production of the new plantations, which marked the start of the search for foreign markets. This lead to 19,000 bottles being exported in 1999 and 43,350 in 2000, mainly to countries of the European Union.