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Spanischer Wein. Vom süßen Sherry bis hin zum trockenen Rioja, Bild: barmalini / shutterstock

You should know these 5 Spanish wine regions

By Sascha Brandenburg, www.todovino.de

Spain is not only one of the most popular holiday destinations, but also one of the largest wine producers in the world. The Spanish wine world is incredibly diverse – there are over 140 wine-growing regions in total. If you go to a bar or restaurant in Spain , the selection is often clear. Mostly you will find the 4 big R’s here: Rioja, Ribera, Rueda and Rias Baixas. We add an S at this point: Sherry!

  1. Rioja

Rioja is probably the most famous wine in Spain. The wine-growing region of the same name is located in the north of the country and extends over three autonomous communities: the Basque Country, Rioja and Navarre. The main grape variety is Tempranillo, which is often grown together with other red varieties. Rioja is considered the Bordeaux of Spain. Not only because the French region was the historical model, but also because the good red wines can mature wonderfully. Red Riojas are finely spicy wines with harmonious barrel notes and aromas reminiscent of ripe red berries. In the meantime, there are also more and more white wines.

  1. Ribera del Duero

When it comes to red wine, in most bars the question arises: Rioja or Ribera? Ribera del Duero is located only about 150 kilometers southwest of the Rioja region in the northern Meseta, a huge high plateau, in the autonomous community of Castilla y León. Here, too, the focus is on the red Tempranillo grape, but it is usually processed as a single variety. The location, the harsh climate and the soils are very different from the rather mild Rioja area. The high-alcohol Riberas are powerful red wines with pronounced acidity and aromas of black berries.

  1. Rueda

Rueda has become the favorite white wine of Spaniards in recent years. The wine-growing region west of Ribera del Duero is also located on the Duero, one of Spain’s great rivers (which flows into the Atlantic Ocean in Portugal as the Douro). Rueda is a white wine area, the main variety is the aromatic Verdejo vine. The tangy, tropical-fruity Verdejos are wonderfully uncomplicated and drinkable, with an intense aroma and full mouthfeel. In addition, there is usually a price that makes this wine affordable for everyone. They are terrace wines par excellence (even if there are a few top wines at top prices). It’s just fun and goes well with many light Mediterranean dishes. No wonder that the popularity of these wines is also increasing abroad.

  1. Rias Baixas

Vineyard in San Vicente de la Sonsierra
Vineyard in San Vicente de la Sonsierra in the La Rioja region, Image: Alberto Loyo / shutterstock

As with red wine, tastes are different for white wine and there are people who prefer an Albariño – the most famous and popular white wine in Spain along with Verdejo. The Albariño variety, which used to be of German origin and related to Riesling (Albariño translates as “the little white one from the Rhine”), grows in the Galician region of Rias Baixas, in the immediate vicinity of the Atlantic Ocean. Here in the far northwest of Spain, it is humid and comparatively cool. The wines are characterized by fresh acidity and often fine citrus and fruit notes and are preferably eaten with fish and seafood.

  1. Sherry

You will find a sherry in every Spanish bar. And indeed, this liqueur wine classic from Andalusia is one of the most versatile luxury foods ever. The spectrum ranges from bone-dry to sugar-sweet and from aperitif to digestif. A zesty-fresh manzanilla or fino sherry is a great accompaniment to tapas, while a sweet Pedro Ximénez for dessert can be the perfect end to a good meal. Be sure to try it! By the way, only the wines that come from the “Sherry Triangle” between Jerez de la Frontera, Sanlúcar de Barrameda and El Puerto de Santa María can be called Sherry. If you are traveling in this area, you should visit one of the sherry cathedrals worth seeing.

See also  Mallorca, Part 1 – Palma and the southwest coast

You can get more wine tips and stories about the most beautiful drink in the world here: www.todovino.de


About the author: Sascha Brandenburg is co-founder of TodoVino. The wine magazine is fully dedicated to the diversity of Spain and sheds light on wine and landscapes from different angles.