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North Spain

The wine regions of Spain can be roughly broken into Northern and Southern Spain with Madrid at the border. For many, Northern Spain means one thing – Rioja, that ever present and fairly reliable Tempranillo-based blend grown in the Ebro Valley near Logrono, not too mention the local oak-aged whites. But it is just so much more. Take the Galician coast for example; specifically Rías Baixas, ... continue reading
The wine regions of Spain can be roughly broken into Northern and Southern Spain with Madrid at the border. For many, Northern Spain means one thing – Rioja, that ever present and fairly reliable Tempranillo-based blend grown in the Ebro Valley near Logrono, not too mention the local oak-aged whites. But it is just so much more. Take the Galician coast for example; specifically Rías Baixas, made from the Albariño grape. It is one of the great seafood wines – relatively light in fruit with searing acidity but there is also just enough complexity to make it lip-smackingly delicious. Rueda is another white worth seeking out made from the local Verdejo grape. But in Central Northern Spain there is one powerhouse that can not be ignored, the great Ribera del Duero, and home to Spain’s greatest wine, Vega Sicilia, which has been in production since the mid nineteenth century. Ribera del Duero is hardly the most hospitable of climates – Summer days regularly reaching forty degrees with a dramatic drop at night. But this climate seems to squeeze something very special from some grape varieties producing robust and deeply flavoured wines that are built for the cellar. Tempranillo, known locally as Tinto Fino, is the base for many of the wines but Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec are also allowed. Towards the East, Catalonia houses a number of fine wine regions. Priorat is the name on everyone’s lips in these parts with the local Garnacha-based wines, often also made with the much-maligned Carinena (Carignan), in great demand. The wines are intense and very masculine, often boasting aromas of mineral and roasted meats, and are well worth discovering. This is in marked contrast to the nearby region of Penedés. The Torres family started the revolution here, planting many of the French varietals in their vineyards during the 1960’s. Now grapes such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon are regularly found in the vineyards of Penedés. Still to this day the Torres name is associated with some of the regions best wines, often at very reasonable prices. Penedés is also a large source of the fruit used to make the Sparkling Cavas. On the cool upper slopes Macabeo, Xarel-lo and Parellada make many fine and very distinguished sparkling wines, plus some great easy-drinking styles.
Country Spain
State SP

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