It is characterized by a tabular topography, giving rise to four relief units: the vega, a narrow strip of flat and of good soil (alluvial and fluvial); the intermediate platforms (clay soil in which the great majority of the vines are planted), step of stony soils and hilly forms and where, around Roa and La Horra (Burgos), the most ancient wine-growing estates have been developed; the slopes that close the bank by strong escarpments and accumulate rich alluvial soils at its base; and, finally, the páramo, hard and historically border territory, destined for centuries to cereals and grazing.
The vines are often planted in sandy loams or gravelly soils with limestone subjected to a "hot-summer humid continental climates" climate with strong thermal oscillations and average rainfall between 400 and 600 mm per year. The landscape is made up of well-ventilated high plateaus and surrounded by mountains.
The predominant variety is Tempranillo in 80% and the rest is complemented by the varieties Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Garnacha Tinta and Albillo.
Ribera del Duero was designated, by the prestigious magazine Wine Enthusiast, as the best wine region in the world in 2012.