Spain is the country with the most land under vine in the world, claiming the title of the world’s third largest producer (behind France and Italy). And that which it does produce is spellbinding: earthy, luscious, and rich reds; zippy, aromatic whites; and sparkling Cavas made in the traditional Champagne style.There’s a sea of Spanish wine flowing into the U.S., and, still, we can’t get enough of it.
Rioja is probably the most famous of Spain’s wine-producing regions, and Tempranillo is its star grape. The region was the first in all of Spain to earn its highest ranking, the DOCa (Denominacion de Origen Calificada), and is now joined only by Priorat. Rioja’s unique classification system is all about aging, and its wines on the whole are aged more than any other wine before release. The long stretches in barrel make for a wine that is lip-smackingly luscious. The limestone and clay of the upper region provide an earthy sensuality. Regions such as Priorat and Montsant in Catalonia and Ribera del Duero in north-central Spain are also churning out opulent, savory reds.
Spain’s white wines occupy the opposite end of the spectrum. Many parts of Spain are scorchingly hot, so Spaniards reach for whites that are crisp, light, and refreshing. Albarino is its signature white grape, with Viura and Verdejo close behind. In Catalonia, sparkling Cavas made in the Champagne style are crisp and lightly doughy–and affordable to boot.
Spain’s wines are approachable, luxurious, and generally easy on the wallet. There’s a world of good juice out there waiting to be discovered! Join us for our Wines of Spain class on August 22nd to dive into this awesome region!