¡Viva España! Yes, what would the wine world be without Sherry, Rioja and Sangría? Spain truly has a lot to offer wine fans: It is the country with the largest area of vineyards - but not with the largest amount of wine. This is because many vineyards produce little yield, but the grapes are all the more concentrated for it. An El Dorado for fans of concentrated, powerful wines.
The wine country of Spain has experienced a tremendous upswing since the 1990s. Numerous bodegas and vineyards have been revived, newly planted and better developed. The numerous high altitudes in the country are blessed with plenty of sunshine and thus offer perfect conditions for growing wine. The large plateaus of Castilla y Léon and La Mancha in particular offer plenty of space for vineyards. No wonder, then, Spain today has the largest wine-growing area in the world.
The most important grape variety in Spain is Tempranillo, which is also called Tinto Fino or Tinta del País, depending on the region. The powerful Tempranillo wines with their fruity character and mild tannins have fans all over the world today. The best-known growing areas for Tempranillo are La Rioja and Ribera del Duero. Whereby the grapes develop very differently depending on the region. The cool nights on the Duero make the Tempranillo grapes grow smaller and the skins thicker. Therefore, the must is more concentrated and the wine gets its typical spiciness. Perhaps therein lies the secret of the enormous popularity of the Ribera del Duero - the wine region that has gone from nobody to world fame in just 35 years.
What many people don't know is that Spain produces the most white wine in the world. In this country, these wines are still all too much in the shadow of the famous reds. One thing is clear: Spain still has much to discover for wine lovers and connoisseurs!
Denominación de Origen (DO): Wines from well-defined areas of origin with their own Consejo Regulador, which ensures that quality benchmarks are met during production and decides which wines may carry the designation. Currently there are 78 DO in Spain (mainland and islands).
Denominación de Origen Calificada (DOCa): Designation for premium wines. The regulations are stricter than those of the DO. Wines must be bottled in the region of origin. Currently there are 2 DOCa (La Rioja and Priorat).
Vino de Pago (VP): designation of a specific single vineyard registered in the land registry. It is the highest classification under Spanish wine law. The quality requirements are at least equal to those of DOCa wines. Currently there are less than 20 wineries that are allowed to use the predicate.