Spanish Wine Regions
Sitting in the northwest corner of Castilla y León and bordering Galicia and Asturias to the north, Bierzo is something of a transition zone between the Atlantic and the Spanish interior.
Cava is Spain’s most well-known sparkling wine. What many don't know is that it's also a DO in its own right. But unlike wines from other DOs, Cava is not made in just one geographical area.
Sitting in a hot and dry corner of Castilla La Mancha, Jumilla is a great place to explore fuller-bodied reds made from the Monastrell grape. But it also offers plenty of fresher wines from higher altitude plots that are well worth investigating.
Sandwiched between the coastal regions to the East and central Spain to the West, Manchuela has a long history of winemaking. It's famed for the Bobal grape, once a stalwart of bulk wine but now increasingly used to make some exceptional single varietal wines.
Montsant is defined by mountains hills, ridges and slopes. The region can be divided into sub-zones from warmer, lower stretches in the south-west as the land falls away towards the Ebro river and higher, wilder areas to the north.
Penedès is best known for Cava which was essentially invented by the Codorniu family in the 1870s in the town of Sant Sadurní d’Anoia. But it's also worth trying some of the region's wonderful aromatic white wines.
Priorat is one of the 10 DOs in Catalunya and, along with DOCa Rioja, it’s one of the two wine-growing regions in Spain with "DO+" which means that, like Rioja, the rules are that little bit stricter for wines made here.
Rias Baixas is home to the excellent Albariño wines, but has a growing number of other interesting grapes to discover. With thousands of small growers and producers, making wonderful artisanal wines, it's definitely worth exploring.
Ribeira Sacra is the only DO in Galicia specialising in red wines. This is the land of "heroic viticulture" where vineyards hang from the vertiginous banks of the Sil and Miño rivers calling for winemakers with a good head for heights!
Ribeiro is the oldest of the five DOs in Galicia. With vineyards grouped along the three valleys formed by the Miño, Avia and Arnoia rivers, Ribeiro is well-known as for its wonderful, blended white wines made from native local grapes.
After Rioja, Ribera del Duero is one of Spain’s best known wine regions. But despite a long winegrowing history, the region was only awarded DO status in 1982.
One of the world’s best known and best loved wine regions, Rioja was one of the first regions in Spain to become an official DO almost a hundred years ago. Today, it’s on a par with other great wine-producing regions of the world.
Like many of Spain’s DOs, Rueda is an historic wine region with winemaking traditions that stretch back to the Middle Ages. The Rueda DO was created in the early 1980s, and these days is famed for its white wines made from the Verdejo grape.
Somontano’s broad identity makes it a comfortable entry-point for international wine lovers looking to familiarise themselves with Spanish wine. But it’s also a region with a deep winemaking history and lots of local colour and diversity.
Terra Alta is a county defined by its Mediterranean agriculture. Covering some twelve towns with a combined population of around 12,000 people, the plains, plateaus and valleys are planted with olive and almond trees, but above all vines.
Despite its best efforts, the Vinos de Madrid region is still relatively unknown even for wine drinkers in Madrid. Which is a real shame because the DO has got a lot to shout about.