A land famous for the beauty of its landscape, in addition to the Conquistadores, famed artists and renowned wine producers.

How wonderful Spain is with its coastal resorts, nightlife that sees cities such as Barcelona come to life, islands of incomparable beauty and gastronomic and cultural traditions: Spain is also one of the three areas in the world where the most wine is produced! Wherever you are – be it in a city of art like Madrid or Bilbao, in the more futuristic Valencia or on vacation in the Canaries or Balearics, you will always find good food and excellent wines, often with an interesting quality-price ratio.

Types and characteristics of Spanish red wines

Here are some of the most famous red wines from the Iberian Peninsula, divided by type and region.

If you are a lover of reds, you won’t want to miss DOC Rioja or even a Reserva or DO Ribeira de Duero, which both star the Tempranillo grape variety. Generous, structured wines scented with cherry, cedar, tobacco and plum, in addition to hints of vanilla-like sweet spice, as wooden containers are used for ageing.

If you happen to find yourself on the coast overlooking the Mediterranean, let yourself be won over by the Black Garnacha variety in the sublime Priorato region, which is easily accessible by moving inland from Tarragona.

Majorca, the largest of the Balearic Islands, instead sees the Manto Negro and Callet varieties reign supreme, producing aromatic and well-structured red wines.

The classics of the Spanish continent: white wines

Still or sparkling, sweet or dry: with Spanish white wine you can’t go wrong. Which is the most suitable for your tastes?

If you love white wines characterised by great acidity, flavour and hints of lemon peel, grapefruit, melon and nectarine, then those obtained from the Albarino variety – produced in the Northwestern area of the DO Rias Baixas – are perfect; if instead you’re looking for a more aromatic bouquet, then the Verdejo variety is for you (often blended with Sauvignon blanc) and originating from the DO Rueda district.

And the bubbles? Spain is famous for the classic Cava method, with production mainly being concentrated in the Penedes region – a hilly area not far from Barcelona: Macabeo (Viura) Xarello and Parellada are the native white-seeded grapes used, while the Monastrell and Garnacha varieties produce the reds. In recent years, classics such as Pinot Noir and Chardonnay have also been used in an attempt to meet the tastes and requests of the foreign market.

The Giropallet is a machine of Spanish invention, programmed for handling the stacks with the bottles of sparkling wine inside, so as to perform the remuage operation, which is usually done by hand, thereby reducing the production costs of this classic method.

On the fabulous island of Lanzarote, characterised by its lunar landscapes and the vines buried in holes dug into the volcanic ash, you can savour fragrant white wines obtained from the Malvasia Volcanica variety.

Don’t forget, if you ever find yourself in Andalusia – and more precisely towards Cadiz and Jerez de la Frontera – to visit a Bodega, to learn about and taste Sherry, an ancient and special wine. This is produced from the Palomino fino, a native vine that grows in a very particular chalky soil known as albariza, which retains moisture and reflects the rays of the scorching sun, so as to allow the vines to survive.

28 January 2022 hOn