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Spain is the 3rd largest wine producer in the world with the largest wine-growing area. After decades of mass production, Spain has started to present wines such as Ermita or Pingus and to award quality, while maintaining one of the most interesting quality/price ratios in the world. Some of Spain's regions are now among the best known in the wine industry, such as Ribera Del Duero, Rioja or Priorat. Toro, Navarre or Rias Baixas also have claims to a worldwide reputation. Today Spain has about twenty regions that produce wines of superior quality, unlike in the past when only six regions stood out from the crowd.


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In Phoenician times, Spanish wines were already known to be among the goods traded by sea. The Romans continued to trade this magical beverage. Since Spain's entry into the European space, a dynamic wind has allowed the cultivation of new vines and the creation of new wines.

The climate is, of course, hot and dry, sometimes too dry, with a slight influence of the ocean on the western side. The ripening of the grapes is faster and more intense than in other wine-growing regions, raising the alcohol level and concentrating the aromas and the wine.

Airén is the most cultivated grape variety and produces white wine. Viura (or Macabeo, Maccabeo), the grape variety that produces Cavas (sparkling wines), closely follows the first typically Spanish grape variety.
Among the reds, four grape varieties (Grenache, Monastrell (or Mourvèdre), Bobal, and Carignan compete for the grape variety market.
Finally, the excellent Tempranillo grape variety, specifically Spanish, disappeared at the time of the phylloxera outbreak, but is often found again.

Spain can be divided into three main regions:

- The south-western part, with appellations such as Jerez and Huelva, as well as the south-central part, with Malaga and Montilla. This region is joined by the appellation of Canary Islands.

- The central part with the designations Ribera del Duero, Rueda, Castile, La Mancha.

- The northern part with Rioja, Navarre, Galicia, Catalonia and Aragon.

For decades, Spain has opted for a system of designations similar to that of France, that is to say a geographical denomination. Wines produced in one of the 12 designated regions are entitled to the appellation "Vino de la Tierra", a kind of "Vin du pays". Within these 12 regions, a first distinction according to area (D.O., Denominacion de Origen) can be received, and since 1991, a second appellation can be granted (D.O.Ca, Denominacion de Origen Calificada) to wines of superior quality.

The degree of ageing of the wine also allows for a mark of distinction on the bottle. 3 indications are possible depending on the ageing time and the quality of the means of keeping :

Vino de crianza: 3 year old wine, at least one year in barrel
Vino de reserva: 3 years spent in barrels or bottles, at least 1 year spent in barrels.
Vino de gran reserva: 2 years in casks and 3 years in bottle.
Vino Tinto (red wine)
Rioja and Ribera del Ruedo are definitely the two best known grape varieties in Spain. Powerful, concentrated, these red wines have a nose of wild strawberries, whereas Ribera del Ruedo is above all woody and has a nose of plum and blackberry.

Vino Blanco
The quality of Spanish white wines is no longer in doubt. The dry and floral wines of the Rías Baixas appellation are very well known, pleasant and fresh on the palate. The Rueda appellation has light, dry and lively white wines.

Vino rosado
Rosé wines are produced in large quantities in Spain. Their quality is sometimes uncertain. In contrast, the rosé wines of Navarre and Rioja keep their promise of consistent quality. Strawberries are omnipresent and tasting them as an aperitif is a real pleasure.

Sparkling wines (Cavas, Vinos Espumosos)
All sparkling wines are entitled to the Cava appellation. This Spanish peculiarity, combined with the traditional techniques used, allows a good quality of sparkling wines.