The 6 Best Wines to Serve with Christmas Turkey16/11/2021
Spain is the third-largest wine producer in the world and is responsible for producing stunning wines from around 400 grape varieties.
The north and northwest regions are known as “Green Spain” due to their lush vineyards and beautiful green landscapes. Spain’s peninsula climate and varying soils give birth to a range of exotic wine styles.
In this article, we’ll explore the different wine regions in Spain and the wines they produce.
While Madrid was not always renowned for its wine, in recent years the Garnacha Tinta has placed Madrid on the map in terms of fantastic wine.
With over 800 hectares, 50 wineries, and 100 labels, Madrid has become an integral part of this wine country.
Madrid’s most successful wines include; Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah red wines; and Parellada, Moscatel, Torrontes, and Viura whites.
Spain’s most famous wine region, La Rioja, is in Northern Spain and is in close proximity to the Ebro River.
This wine region was the first region to be rewarded the DO status and one of the only two regions to be upgraded to a DOCa.
This region is divided into 3 sub-regions; Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Baja. Each Sub-region produces its own style of wine.
Rioja Alta, at the highest altitude, produces wines with balanced acidity and bright flavours. Rioja Alavasta, with soil containing more limestone, produces fuller and more acidic wines. And Rioja Baja, the driest and warmest sub-region, produces Garnacha wines.
In Northeast Spain, Catalonia is divided into two sub-regions, Penedes and Priorat. Each Sub-region produces very different wines that are renowned around the world.
Penedes is famous for its Cava, refreshing sparkling wine, and Spain’s answer to Prosecco and Champagne. This region also produces rosé cava.
Priorat, besides Rioja, is the only other wine region to hold a DOCa qualification and is located close to the coast. Known for its red wines, Priorat uses Garnacha and Carinena, as well as French grapes to create its signiture wines.
Valencia’s history of wine-making dates back to the Neolithic age. The chalky, sandy, and limestone-rich soils are perfect for the growth of the Monastrell grape, which produces the region’s rich red wines.
This region is also located on the sunny east coast, making the weather conditions ideal for growing the grapes.
Unlike other regions, Valencia practices two different aging processes; Crianza, which refers to wines aged for three months, and Reserva wines which are aged for six.
This region also produces a small amount of Cava wine.
Located in the South of Spain, Andalucia is best known for its fortified wine, Sherry. The region produces its Sherry from the Palomino grapes which thrive here.
The region experiences cooler temperatures and the soil is rich in limestone, chalk, and clay, which is essential for the grape’s acidity levels.
Parts of this region are also warmer and much drier, particularly in Malaga and Montilla-Moriles. These areas are ideal for producing Spain’s heavier dessert wines which are made from the Pedro Ximenez and Moscatel grapes.
Since the Middle Ages, Galicia has been part of Spain’s winemaking tradition. Located in the northwest of Spain, the region has the Atlantic Ocean on two sides.
Even though the region receives plenty of rain and sunshine, the grapes that grow here struggle to ripen fully. It’s for this reason, that the region is best at producing Albarino white wines.
The wines that originate here contain at least 70% Albarino grapes, with the rest being Loureiro, Treixadura, or Torrontes. Their flavours are usually both botanical and citrusy.
This wine region in Spain covers around one-fifth of Spain’s entire surface. Connecting Rioja to the Portuguese border, Castilla Y Leon is located alongside the Douro river.
This region is dividied into sub-regions’ Ribera del Duero and Rueda.
Ribera del Duero is focused on producing red wines made from the Tempranillo grape. This region is also home to Spain’s most famous winery, Vega Sicilia.
Rueda lies northwest of Madrid and is best known for its fresh, aromatic white wines made from Verdejo. Rueda also produces white sparkling wine and fortified wine.
Once most famous for its dry, fruity Garnacha rosé, Navarra has seen most of its success come from producing Tempranillo red wines.
Due to this success, winemakers have made this their primary grape variety in recent years.
With a moderate Mediterranean climate, Navarra also produces a small amount of white wine from Chardonnay, Garnacha Blanca, Viura, and sweet Moscatel wines.
The Jumilla wine region is located in Murcia in the southeast of Castilla La Mancha.
This region produces red and rosé wines, made from at least 80% Monastrell grapes. Also allowed in the blend are Merlo, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.
Jumilla also produces a sweet wine called Jumill Dulce, which is made from local grapes and can either be red, white, or rosé.
Airen Pedro Ximenez and Macabeo white grapes ate commonly grown in the region and most recently Chardonnay.
Castilla La Mancha is Europe’s largest wine region and spans over 200,000 hectares. Located southeast of Madrid, the region produces 50% of Spain’s grapes.
The most planted grape here is the Airen, however, this grape is not widely respected globally, therefore red blends overpower Airen varietal wines in this region.
The regions red wines are primarily made from Tempranillo, Garnacha Tinta, Syrah and Monastrell grape varieties. This region also features the trail-blazing Domino de Valdepusa vineyard.
Explore Wines from Spain…