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Spanish Wine

Spanish wine conjures up the names of Rioja, famous for both red and white wines, and Sherry to most people and although these wines deserve their popularity and status there is a growing number of fine wines from Spain that are also worthy of serious consideration. Spain has more land area under vine than any other wine-producing country but the often harsh climate and drought conditions traditionally result in low yields and a struggle to ripen grapes sufficiently in many vineyard locations. Since 1995, and a change in Spain's wine laws making irrigation a possibility for those who can afford to drill for water and install irrigation systems, overall yields are on the increase.

view of a typical Spanish vineyard

The wines of Rioja, Priorat and Ribera del Duero are internationally renowned and, although the fabulous bodega-aged wines of Lopez de Heredia in the Rioja Alta sub-region are highly-acclaimed and deservedly so, there is a noticeable movement generally away from very long ageing in wood and a greater emphasis on fresher tasting wines with more fruit and perhaps more definition which are made available for sale earlier and which chimes well with younger wine drinkers in international markets. The Albariño grape makes very refreshing wine in the north western D.O. of Rias Baixas in Galicia north of the border of Portugal where the same grape (known as Alvarinho there) produces the best white Vinho Verde wines.

Approximately 90% of Spain's vineyards are planted at high altitudes which also helps to boost acidity levels thus producing fresher wines – Castilla-La Mancha on the central plateau and Castilla y León in the north are two such regions. The more international outlook is also reflected in the planting of non-indigenous grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay which was pioneered by the family-owned wine producer Miguel Torres in Penedes near Barcelona.

  1. Torres Gran Coronas Black Label Reserva, Penedes, 1978

    Torres Gran Coronas Black Label Reserva, Penedes, 1978

    Torres Gran Coronas Black Label Reserva 1978 is made exclusively from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from a single vineyard in the Penedès region south-west of Barcelona in Catalonia.

    Colour Red Wine
    Grape Variety Cabernet Sauvignon
    Country Spain


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