Recent years have seen the emergence of a new wave of Spanish wine, which reflects the country’s diversity. The modernisation that swept through the wine regions in the 1990s brought a new generation of dynamic winemakers, significant investment, innovative techniques, international grape varieties and a radical move towards the fruit-driven wine styles favoured in international markets.

Spain is a country of tremendous diversity, breathtaking landscapes and rich cultural heritage that vies with France and Italy to be the number-one wine producer in the world. The climate and geography of the country (its dramatic mountain chains and vast central plateau in particular), play a fundamental role in defining Spain’s regional diversity and the many varied wine styles it produces.

In northwest Spain the lush green valleys of Galicia and the Atlantic coast give rise to the name España Verde. This region specialises in zesty and aromatic, white wines that include those made from the Albariño and Godello grapes, as well as aromatic red wines made from the Mencía grape.

In Northern Central Spain the Duero River Valley wine region encompasses the wine production area of Castilla y León. This region is notable for the crisp, mineral, white wines of Rueda made primarily from the Verdejo grape and the bold Tempranillo reds of Ribera del Duero and Toro.

Snaking between the Sierra de Cantábria mountains and the Sierra Demanda, the River Ebro and its tributaries have helped carve out vineyards that have been celebrated for at least two centuries. The regions of La Rioja and Navarra are found in the Ebro River Valley wine region where it is the black Tempranillo grape which is king. Navarra is a region renowned for the quality of its rosado (rosé) wines made with the Garnacha (Grenache) grape. The Ebro River Valley region also produces very good white wines made from the Viura (Macabeo) grape.

The “tabletop” that represents the central plateau or Meseta is the inner plateau of Spain which is home to the capital city, Madrid. This is an enormous wine producing region that produces nearly half of all the wine in Spain and is a source of some of the best value red wines the country has to offer, including those made of Garnacha, Tempranillo and increasingly Petit Verdot.

The Mediterranean Coast wine region spans the eastern coast of Spain from its northern border with France to the border with Andalucía in the south. Within this vast expanse a wide variety of world-class wines are appearing in places such as Priorat and Montsant as well as more established areas such as Penedés and Cava, the most famous sparkling wine in the world after Champagne.

The Andalucía region of southwestern Spain is home to the world famous fine wines of Sherry, which takes its name from the town of Jerez and also the dessert style wines of Montilla-Moriles (DO). With the Canary Island’s in the Atlantic and the Balearics lying in the middle of the Mediterranean, the Islands of Spain offer a wide range of wine styles from Listan Negro-based reds to dessert wines made with Moscatel.


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