One Hundred years ago, Spain boasted only a few well known wines and only two famous wine regions, Rioja and Jeréz. The wines were often made in local cooperative bodegas. The custom was for people to visit their local bodega usually after Mass on Sunday, to pick up their supply of wine for the next week. Today, wine information on Spanish wine regions have been rediscovered and in some cases reinvented themselves to meet something of which no one ever knew existed a century ago, the market! This has been reflected in world class wine being produced from Galicia, Ribera del Duero, Rioja, Navarra, and Catalonia all of which have earned well deserved praise.
Best of all, much of this success and praise is still being built on Spain’s native grape varieties. Although many of the country’s finest wines are made from such international varieties as cabernet sauvignon, merlot and chardonnay, native grapes take precedence. For reds, tempranillo is king of Rioja and Ribera del Duero. Old vine garnarcha reaches great heights in the Priorato. For whites, crisp verdejo in Rueda and peachy albarino in Galicia are a refreshing change of pace from chardonnay. There are other varieties too, just waiting to be discovered…
Spanish Wine Laws.
Wine information on Spain’s wine laws are controlled by the regional Consejo Reguladors (Regulating Councils). Denominacion de Origen (DO) and Denominacion de Origen Calificada (DOCa) are similar to their French counterparts. Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva refer to the age of the wine and amount of oak ageing before release. Rioja tends to have a longer ageing period than other DOs.Please click on one of the regions below to explore the vineyards.