September 29, 2022 · , , ,

The Top 8 Spanish Wine Regions and a Brief History of Spanish Wine

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spanish wine regions

Spain has a long and varied history with wine. The country has been producing wine for over 2,000 years and is currently the third largest producer of wine in the world. Spanish wine has a reputation for being some of the best in the world, and it is enjoyed by wine lovers all over. But where did this delicious drink come from?

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Let’s take a look at the history of Spanish wine:

The Origins of Spanish Wine:

The first vines were brought to Spain by the Phoenicians in 1100 BC, and wine production quickly took hold in the country. By 800 BC, there were over 100 varieties of grape being grown in Spain. The Romans also played a role in the development of Spanish wine, as they introduced new grape varietals and winemaking techniques to the region. wines became so popular that by the first century AD, there were over 400 wineries in Spain.

The Decline of Spanish Wine

Unfortunately, the production of Spanish wine went into decline in the centuries that followed. The Moorish invasion in 711 AD put an end to viticulture in much of the country, and it was not until the 12th century that vines began to be planted again in significant numbers. However, it was not until the 15th century that Spanish wine truly began to regain its former glory.

The Renaissance of Spanish Wine

In 1492, Christopher Columbus sailed to America and brought back grapevines from Hispaniola (modern-day Haiti and Dominican Republic). These vines flourished in Spain’s climate and soil, and they quickly began to be planted all over the country. This led to a boom in winemaking, with many new wines being produced for export. At this time, Sherry became one of Spain’s most famous exports, and it remains hugely popular to this day.

These are the 8 most important wine regions in Spain:

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  • Rioja

    Rioja is a wine region located in the north-central part of Spain. The region is known for its Tempranillo-based red wines. Rioja wines are typically aged in oak barrels for a minimum of one year, and can be aged for up to 10 years.
  • Penedès

    Penedès is a wine region located in northeastern Spain, just southwest of Barcelona. The region is known for its sparkling wines, as well as its red and white wines made from the native Catalan grapes of Garnacha and Macabeo.
  • Navarra

    Navarra is a wine region located in northern Spain, just south of the Basque Country. The region is known for its red wines made from the native Garnacha grape. Navarra wines are typically lighter in body than those from other Spanish wine regions.
  • La Mancha

    La Mancha is a large wine region located in central Spain. The region is known for its production of bulk wines, as well as its fortified wines made from the native Airen grape. La Mancha wines are typically very affordable and easy to find.
  • Jerez-Xérès-Sherry

    Jerez-Xérès-Sherry is a wine region located in southwestern Spain. The region is known for its fortified wines made from the Palomino grape, as well as its dry white wines made from the Pedro Ximénez grape. Jerez-Xérès-Sherry wines are typically aged in oak barrels for several years before being bottled.
  • Jumilla

    Jumilla is a wine region located in southeastern Spain, just inland from Murcia. The region is known for its full-bodied red wines made from the Monastrell grape, as well as its rosé wines made from a blend of Grenache and Monastrell grapes. Jumilla wines are typically very affordable and easy to find.
  • Bullas

    Bullas is a small wine region located in southeastern Spain, just inland from Murcia. The region is known for its red and white wines made from the native Bobal grape, as well as its rosé wines made from a blend of Grenache and Bobal grapes
  • Ribera del Duero
    Ribera del Duero is a wine region located in the north-central part of Spain. The region is known for its full-bodied red wines made from the Tempranillo grape. Ribera del Duero wines are typically aged in oak barrels for a minimum of two years.

Spanish wine is some of the best in the world, enjoyed by people all across the globe. But where did this delicious drink come from? The answer is a long and complicated history spanning thousands of years. From its origins with the Phoenicians to its decline under Moorish rule and finally its renaissance in the 15th century, Spanish wine has a rich and fascinating story. If you’re a fan of Spanish wine, then you’ll definitely want to learn more about its impressive history.

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