Wines from Navarra
Learn about the lesser-known Navarra Wine Region
Navarra, which is a wine region in the northern part of Spain, is a lesser-known wine region of the country.
But, if we look at the wine profile of Navarra, we could understand that it has a reasonable profile and is worth learning about it.
Being one of the seventeen first-level administrative regions of the country, this region is best known among the native people for its exotic red wines.
If you haven’t visited the place yet, you should plan for a wine tour here. Why I say this is because Navarra is sitting at the nerve centre of the celebrated medieval pilgrimage route, the Camino de Santiago.
Now, learn more about this lesser-known wine region here…
The Start of Winemaking in Navarra
Just like many other wine regions of Spain, this region also has a long history of association with wines. As such, the first evidence of winemaking in Navarra is found to be dating back to the period of ancient Romans.
However, the wine grapes were known to be thriving well long before the Roman period here.
The vines of the prehistoric period, Vitis sylvestris, which is the predecessor of the most popular Vitis vinifera, have been discovered in Navarra and are still growing here.
After the Roman era, the vine cultivation was continued by the Moors and was greatly expanded during the Christian rule.
Despite all these, we can say that 14th century is the boom time for the region and its wine industry as a number of vineyards were set up.
The number of vineyards was so high so that the requirement for restrictions and regulations came in.
During the 19th century, the region’s vineyards were invaded by phylloxera. After this decline, the region’s vineyards were replanted by vignerons using phylloxera-resistant rootstocks.
Subsequently, the wine production zones were reorganized.
Explanation of Navarra D.O
The whole Navarra region has only one DO title for the wines being produced in the wine zone. This DO title was created in the year 1933 and is covering the whole southern half of the region.
As such, the Navarra DO has been divided into five sub-zones, each one with a distinctive identity.
The sub-zones are:
- Tierra Estella
- Ribera Alta
- Baja Montaña
- Ribera Baja
Geography and Climate of Navarra
Geographically, the Navarra DO is found to be diverse with lots of features affecting the vines, as well as the climate of the region. The region is in close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean in the northwest and the Pyrenees in the northeast.
This, along with the region’s close proximity to the River Ebro gives the region the moderate temperatures.
This is being offered to the region by the Mediterranean type of climate. The median amount of rainfall that is received by the region annually is found to be 625 mm per year.
Navarra’s Wines and Wine Grapes
Although it was mentioned above that the region is now famous for its red wines, Navarra was traditionally associated with its rosé wines, especially those that are made from Garnacha. These wines will be dry and fruity.
More recently, the red wines made from Tempranillo occupied the wine markets of Navarra by overriding the rosé wines.
Now, these red wines are found to be standing first in the production. As per the wine appellation laws, the wines of Navarra would contain:
- Garnacha – 32%
- Tempranillo – 36%
- Cabernet Sauvignon – 13%
- Merlot – 11%
These days, white varieties are also increasing in the production. As such, the major white varieties of the region are:
- Garnacha blanca
- Moscatel de Gano Menudo
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..