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Wines from Spain

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What is so interesting about Spanish Wines?

Spain is the third largest producer of wine in the globe having more than 2.9 million acres planted. Spain has several numbers of grape varieties planted all over the country.

However, a major part of country’s wine production is done with the 20 major types of grapes.

Wine from Spain

The grapes remain to be the third largest producing crop of the country followed by cereals and olives. More interestingly, Spain acquires the world’s first place in terms of the total surface area covered by vineyards.

What is so interesting about Spanish wines!

Wine grape varieties

Spain is Producing Wine since the 1st Century

The history of wine production in Spain can be dated back to the first century AD. More interestingly, Spanish wine was known to be the favourite alcoholic drink of the Romans.

Two of the most famous Roman historians, Pliny and Ovid have mentioned about the wine from regions of Alella (near Barcelona) and Saguntum (Spanish wine variety) in their works.

Spain Classifies Wine by Region

This will be a surprising, as well as interesting, for the travellers who are about to go to Spain. Spanish wines are being classified by the region, and not by the grape.

Hence, if you’re going to a bar in Spain, you’re expected to place orders for wine by the region name.

The country classifies wine based on the regions mainly because certain regions are popular for using certain varieties grapes and these grapes in-turn will have certain defined characteristics.

Unimaginable Number of Grape Varieties in Spain

Spain has more than 400 varieties of grapes in the country although most of the bulk production is being carried out using the following grape varieties:

  • Tempranillo
  • Garnacha
  • Monastrell
  • Albariño
  • Palomino
  • Airen
  • Macabeo
  • Parellada
  • Xarel-lo

Out of these grape varieties, Airen is the most widely planted variety, which is the white wine grape. This particular grape variety is known for its hardiness.

Followed by Airen, Tempranillo is the second most popular grape variety from the regions of Rioja.

World’s Number 1 in Organic Wine Production

Spain continues to be world’s number 1 in organic wine production with more than 80,000 hectares particularly registered and documented for organic production.

The leading producer Torres has one-third of its vineyard to produce organics. It will be surprising to know that organic wine production was very rare in the country until the 1990s.

This drastic rise in the organic wine production in Spain was due to the fact that many of the wine producers denied using chemicals or pesticides in their wines.

Alcohol and Distilleries

Sherry is Spanish!

The world famous sherry is originally from Southern Spain’s Jerez region. In Spanish Xeres or Xerez! Other regions in the world can’t use the name Sherry because the region has gained trademark for the brand. 

The production of sherry can be dated back to the eighth century.

However, it was first exported to England only during the twelfth century where it got more popular.

Then onward, several other areas started to produce their own variations of sherry.

Cava is more interesting!

Almost everyone is aware that Cava is known to be the Spanish counterpart of Champagne utilizing a more or less similar production method.

However, there is an interesting thing which is not known to most people out there. Cava is not just from Catalonia, although it is the place of origin of Cava.

It is also being produced in the other regions like Aragon, Valencia, and Rioja, and is regulated by DO Cava, which has devised the rules and regulations of the Cava production.

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Tharani Rajamanickam

Tharani Rajamanickam


I am Tharani, I have Bachelors degree in Biotechnology. I am passionate about the wine industry and continue to explore, learn and share and I bring in a wealth of knowledge and expertise to help you keep updated with best wines in the world. Stay tuned..

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