Contemporary of the stories of Homer, back in the VIII century B.C. is a winery near Cádiz, in the Phoenician colony of the Castillo de Doña Blanca, the first trace of the wine industry in Spain.Since then, the fame of Spanish wine has reached the whole world and can be compared with the best in France or Italy.
Spain has around seventy designations of origin distributed throughout the peninsula and the two archipelagos: Canarias and Baleares.Among the main ones are:
It is considered one of the main wines of the world. The designation of origin is spread over 65,000 hectares in the north of Spain, crossed by the Ebro River, between the autonomous communities of La Rioja, Navarra and the province of Álava (Basque Country).
Rioja wine is preserved in 225-litre oak barrels with a minimum aging period of 1 to 3 years. Among its red wines, the variety that has given it more fame, Marques de Caceres, Vina Alberdi, Marqués de Murrieta, Viña Ardanza, Muga and Marqués de Riscal stand out.
Ribera del Duero
In recent years Ribera del Duero wines have achieved enormous fame. The designation occupies a part of the Castilian provinces of Burgos, Segovia, Soria and Valladolid, crossed by the Douro River.
The moderate rainfall of the area, together with dry summers and long and rigorous winters, make up the development of the vineyard and the ripening of the grapes. Among the more than 1,200 brands of this designation of origin, the red wines Protos, Vega Sicilia Único, Tinto Pesquera, Pago de Carraovejas, Arzuaga, Carramimbre and Valduero stand out.
From the heart of La Mancha, the homeland of Don Quixote, is the designation of origin of the popular Valdepeñas, whose territory only covers ten locations in the province of Ciudad Real. Many of these towns were former possessions of the orders of the Knights of Santiago and Calatrava. The Valdepeñas denomination has 22,000 hectares irrigated by the Jabalón River. Its vineyards, resistant to continental climate and low production, produce wines such as Señorío de los Llanos, Pata Negra, Viña Albali, Corcovo, Don Aurelio or Balthasar.
One of its wines had great fame in the court of the Catholic Kings, the promoters of the American adventure of Christopher Columbus. Nestled in the heart of Castile, between the provinces of Valladolid, Segovia and Ávila, Rueda’s designation of origin spans nearly 16,000 hectares and has 70 wineries.
In Rueda the Verdejo grape reigns, which according to tradition brought in the 11th century the Mozarabs (Christians in Muslim territory). Some Verdejo wines from Rueda (white) are Caserío de Dueñas, Belondrade and Lurton, Malcorta, Marqués de Riscal Verdejo and Palacio de Bornos.
At the junction of the valleys formed by the rivers Miño, Avia and Arnoia, in the Galician province of Orense, there is, along 2,500 hectares, the designation of origin of Ribeiro (‘river bank’ in Galician).
One thousand years ago, the Benedictine monks recovered viticulture in this greenest area of Spain that has the distinction of having four climates: Atlantic, Continental, Mediterranean and oceanic.
The Ribeiro wines par excellence are white, and they are among the best in Spain. Among them are Ailalá Treixadura, El Paraguas Atlántico, Coto de Gomáriz, Máxima Casanova, Sur and Viña Costeira.