Spanish Wine Regions
Learn all about Spanish wine country, region by region
Discovering the wine regions of Spain is a fun way of learning about the country´s history and culture. Spain is one of the most fascinating wine producing countries in the world with a wide offering of handcrafted wine styles and quaint wine country villages to visit. So why not combine wine tasting with your other interests in Spain! Gourmets flock to Catalunya, Basque Country and Madrid for cosmopolitan refined restaurants, many of them Michelin starred. History buffs love Andalucia for its rich concentration of Moorish and Renaissance architecture. Birdwatchers love La Rioja, nature lovers adore the entire Green Spain (Galicia, Cantabria, Asturias and Basque Country) and Jetsetters enjoy the luxury villa style hotels and secret dreamy beaches of the Balearic Islands.
Northern Spain in terms of wine country encompasses the misty green hills of Atlantic Galicia (Rias Baixas, Valdeorras, Ribeiro, etc), the Castilla y Leon autonomous region (Bierzo, Toro, Rueda, Ribera del Duero, etc) the beautiful regions of Basque Country (Txakoli) and La Rioja, and the agriculturally rich plateaus of Navarra and Somontano. The range of scenery, local gastronomic traditions, wine styles and micro climates is extraordinary. Some of the renowned local grapes include Albariño and Godello in Galicia, Mencia in Bierzo, Tempranillo of course (in Rioja, and called "Tinta del Pais" in Ribera del Duero and Toro), Verdejo in Rueda, Viura in Rioja and Garnacha in Rioja and Navarra (in Navarra, Garnacha is used for their stellar dry rosé wines). Read on to discover some of the most highly esteemed wine regions in Northern Spain....
Bierzo is definitely Spain´s most up and coming region and thanks to celebrity winemakers like Alvaro Palacios, these Mencia based wines are gaining intentional attention. This beautiful wine region is located in northwest Spain just below the Celtic winemaking region of Galicia...
The wine region of La Rioja was demarcated by the area's governing body, the CONSEJO REGULADOR, in 1926. The region extends for approx. 120 km along both sides of the Ebro River and is, at its widest, 50 kilometers, bounded by mountains on either side...
From generally oxidized rosés to full-bodied reds, the transition in Navarra's winemaking has been sudden and overwhelming. Garnacha, the workhorse rosé grape now is less than 40% of plantings, compared with 90% in the 1980's. Its place has been taken by the Spanish Tempranillo...
The landscapes of the Rias Baixas wine region in Spain's northwestern Galicia, starkly contrast with the image many have of Spain- dry, hot, with a splash of bullfighting and flamenco. Galicia is Celtic (whose legacy today is evident in the traditional regional instrument...
Ribera del Duero
Legend has it that the Elephant & Castle district in London got its name from a cockney derivation of 'Infanta de Castilla', the title of Isabella, the Spanish Catholic queen who stayed there during a visit to London in the 15th century...
Located on a high plateau in the mountainous area of Huesca (known for its ski resorts), the wine region of Somontano lies at the foot of the Pyrenees Mountains. The name Somontano actually means "Under the Mountain"...
Many Spanish wine writers believe that Toro, a relatively little-known denominación de origen (DO), located in Zamora province around the town of Toro, is Spain's most promising wine region. Once known for black, stout, powerful wines that lived up to their name...
Valdeorras is one of the most exciting wine regions in Spain at present, located in Celtic Galicia and known for its fashionable Godello based white wines...
The Mediterranean coastline in Spain stretches for more than 1600 kilometers, or more than 1,000 miles, from the French border all the way down to the tip of Morocco. Some of Spain´s most sensational wine regions can be found in this area, particularly on the Northern part of the Med near Barcelona, including Penedès (known for its Cava wines as well as dry wines), Priorat (considered by some wine experts to be some of the best red wines in Spain, with Garnacha old vine based wines) and the Empordà (bubbly, white and rosés mainly, made in the Costa Brava). Further south there are a number of interesting up and coming wine appellations in Alicante and Valencia. Barcelona is the main culutural and metropolitan hub and is a great base for visiting many of the wine regions and Girona is also of special interest to foodies as many top Michelin starred restaurants can be found in this area...
Located just half an hour north of Barcelona, Alella is a tiny wine appellation known for its Pansa Blanca based grapes and glamorous villas. This is a prosperous region where vineyards spill out to the sea and very nice sparkling, white and light reds are made
Spain´s beautiful Mediterranean wine region of Emporda is an absolute must for the gourmet traveler as apart from small and artisan wine cellars, the region is host to spectacular coastal scenery, luxurious boutique hotels, fabulous gourmet restaurants and lovely villages like Cadaques...
Montsant is an up and coming wine region located just next to the mythical Priorat region and is on the radar of the world愀 wine critics as a source of excellent value super high quality wines, and Montsant also has made a name for its Kosher wines...
Catalonia's premiere wine region of Penedes (located less than an hour south of Barcelona) produces a range of excellent still wines ranging from delicate whites to beefy reds, as well as the flagship Cava. Traditional Method Cava is made with the indigenous grapes of Xarel.lo and Parellada...
Although little more than 20 km from the Catalan Mediterranean coastal plain, Priorato is remote. Few decent roads penetrate this wildly beautiful region whose steep-sided mountains rise quickly to over 1,100m, and travel between its scattered villages can be laborious...
Perhaps the most alluring region in Spain architecturally, Andalucía is also a fabulous destination for wine lovers. The principal wine regions in the south include Sherry (located in the Sherry triangle of Jerez de la Frontera, Sanlucar de Barrameda and El Puerto de Santa Maria, which incidentally is also a region known for prizewinning brandies), Montilla Moriles (near Córdoba) and the mountain wines of Málaga. Fortified and dessert wines are made in all of these regions. Then for dry red wine lovers, producers around the enchanting town of Ronda are making increasingly interesting wines. Between Andalucia and Madrid, the vast La Mancha wine region extends from Toledo to Cuenca and is home to some truly exciting wine estates making terrific value dry reds.
The vast, arid region of La Mancha is home to medieval Toledo, the dusty landscapes of Don Quixote, historic windmills, charming Almagro and increasingly, high quality good value Spanish wines
Malaga and Ronda
The dreamy hills of Ronda, one of Andalucía´s loveliest towns, are home to some excellent fine wine estates making dry reds, whites and rosados and Málaga province (including Antequera and Axarquia) is indeed home to a number of terrific wine styles including very interesting fortified wines
Brandy de Jerez
Brandy de Jerez is a best kept secret, and connoisseurs of fine cognacs will appreciate the quality and amazing value of the Solera Gran Reservas. Learn more about the distillation and aging processes here.
Be it fino, amontillado or oloroso, Sherry is a complex, esoteric fortified wine with the versatility to go from apéritif to table wine to after-dinner sipper. One of the attractions of the world's great fortified wines is that each is inextricably tied to a storied, exotic locale..
Islands of Spain
The peninsula of Spain has dozens of islands, the largest groups being the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands. An array of wines are made with indigenous local grapes in varying landscapes from volcanic scenes out of a moon landing to lush tropical gardens. While the islands main tourist attractions are the stunning beaches and coastal activities, the interiors of the islands reveal absolute jewels of wine estates and charming eateries. Highlights would include the picturesque northwest of Mallorca and historic wine estates of Binisallem and Puigpunyent, the absolutely dreamy winelands of Lanzarote and its unique flora, and gorgeous colonial towns like La Orotava in Tenerife
The beautiful Balearic Islands of Spain- comprised of Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera- are surprisingly home to some fascinating wine regions and historic vineyards and set in extremely picturesque settings
The volcanic Canary Islands including Tenerife, La Gomera, Lanzarote, La Palma and Gran Canaria- located off the coast of Africa- have truly unique and dramatic moon like landscapes and some of the most unusual and intriguing viticultural practices in Spain