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El Bierzo Wines

A Brand New Taste of Spain

El Bierzo or Bierzo is a DO wine region that is located in the northwestern of the Castile and León province.

I would say this little-known wine region is the kind of land the wine enthusiasts dream to discover.

This lushly beautiful wine region is covering about 3,000 square kilometres within 23 municipalities. This region, which was formerly a Roman mining area, is holding a promising future as the newest wine hotspot of the country.

Wine grape varieties

Now, let’s see all about this brand new taste of Spain here…

A Look at the Viticulture in El Bierzo

The history of viticulture in El Bierzo can be traced back to the times of the Romans who developed agriculture in this region and also introduced the Vitis Vinifera vines here.

But, we can say that the greatest expansion of vine cultivation in this region was related to the monasteries.

After centuries of popularity in the wine market, the Bierzo region faced a massive blow during the 19th century due to the phylloxera invasion.

Then, the viticulture re-emerged slowly through the grafting technique and was able to recover its significance in terms of quality wines. It was during the year 1989 that the region got its DO status.

El Bierzo as a Viticultural Region

Topographically, El Bierzo is a group of small valleys in the mountainous area and hence, this region is experiencing a special type of microclimate.

The climatic conditions of this region are making it suitable for the cultivation of crops especially vines.

The climate here is soft rather than mild and is being regulated by the humidity. The natural barrier Sierra de los Ancares is calming down the force of the storms, thereby producing a continental type of climate.

The region is receiving an annual rainfall of 721 mm. The vineyards of this region are characterized by fragmentation and are located at the heights of 450 to 800 meters above the sea level.

The vineyards in the El Bierzo are the most beautiful ones in the country with several of them being planted on the terraces along the slopes of the Sil River Valley.

As such, the soils in these vineyards are found to be a mixture of quartz and slate. They are found to be slightly acidic with the pH nearing to 5.5.

The viticultural area of Bierzo consists of two parts, which are namely:

Bierzo Alto

This is otherwise called as high Bierzo and is found to be a region with mountainous terrain and rich in minerals. Here, the vineyards are located on the slopes of the mountains.

Bierzo Bajo

This is otherwise known as low Bierzo and is found to be a broad and verdant plain.

Alcohol and Distilleries

Wine Grapes of El Bierzo

When we closely observe the vineyards of El Bierzo, we could understand that the soils of this region are quite different from that of the other parts of Castile and León.

These soils are found to be supporting well the growth of Mencía grapes.

This is the star variety of the region and is occupying almost two-thirds of the region’s vineyards. The Cordillera Cantábric mountain range is providing the Mencía grape vineyards with the adequate shelter, thereby ensuring that they achieve optimum ripeness thus being able to give intense and fruity red wines.

Other important wine grapes of El Bierzo

  • Garnacha Tintorera
  • Doña Blanca
  • Godello
  • Palomino

Experimental varieties

  • Tempranillo
  • Merlot
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Malvasía
  • Chardonnay
  • Gewürztraminer

DO wines of El Bierza

As such, DO wines of El Bierza are produced in various styles.

  • Young whites
  • Young reds
  • Aged wines
  • Rosé wines
  • Crianza wines
  • Reserva wines

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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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