SPAIN

Cariñena

Castilla y León

 

Cava

 

Ribera del Guadiana

Rioja

 
  

 

Spain has over 1.17 million ha of vineyards making it the most widely planted country in the world however it is the 3rd producing country after Italy and France. This is due to the very low yields and wide spacing of old vines planted in the dry and infertile soils found in many Spanish regions. The country has an abundance of indigenous grape varieties with over 600 different ones, although most of the production comes from 20 grapes including Tempranillo, Albariño, Garnacha, Palomino, Arien, Macabeu, Parellada, Xarel.lo, Cariñena and Monastrell.
The abundance of native grapes makes it that Spain started viticulture early; it is said that some grapes were cultivated between 4000 and 300 BC, long before the wine culture of the Phoenicians posted in Cadiz around 1100 BC. The Carthaginians then the Greeks, 700 BC, introduced the culture of extensive vineyards. A few centuries later the Romans developed viticulture further. Following the fall of the Roman Empire the Visigoth invaded Spain and wine production went into decline. Later the Arab conquerors tolerated wine production without encouraging it.The Moors were defeated in 1492 and Christians took over. With the colonization Spain developed markets in its South American colonies but also developed wine trade with England. The 17th and 18th centuries saw the growth of popularity with Sherry, Malaga and Rioja wine. The end of the 19th century saw the emergence of Spanish sparkling wines with Cava in Cataloña. Then came the beginning of the Denominación de Origen system (D.O.) first developed in Rioja in 1926. The Spanish civil war saw many vineyards neglected or destroyed. In the 50’s the political stability created new export opportunities for bulk wine and also many cooperative were subsequently created. Sherry was rediscovered in the 60’s while Rioja wines were again in demand from foreign markets. Gradually from the end of the 70’s/80’s, Spain moved from producing low quality bulk wines to focusing on quality bottled wines.
The Spanish wine law is regulated by the D.O. system that was revised in 1970 and has similarities with the French and Italian systems. In 2007 there were 67 D.O. in Spain. In addition there is also the Denominación de Origen Calificada (DOCa or DOQ in Catalan) that is a higher ranking than the D.O. and this status is given to D.O. that have consistent track record of quality. There are two D.O.C.; Rioja and Priorat.
Our selection of producers is a true reflection of their specific area and offers a wide variety of styles whilst always focusing on quality and value.

Spanish wine region map