Spain is perhaps most famous for Rioja, but this is not the only wine in Spain. Other notable regions include Rías Baixas, Ribera Del Duero, Catalonia, Priotat and Jerez. Some of the types of wine produced in Spain are as follows:
- Rioja – the main grape used in Rioja is the Tempranillo grape; there are 4 styles of Rioja available:
- Joven – not aged, best drunk young.
- Crianza – aged in oak for at least one year and aged in the bottle for a minimum of a year.
- Reserva – aged in oak for at least one year and aged in the bottle for a minimum of two years.
- Gran Reserva – aged in oak for at least two years and aged in the bottle for a minimum of three years.
- Garnacha – this light grape produces high alcohol wines full of red fruits. Often used with Tempranillo in Rioja. The premium region for production is Priotat, but Catalonia also produces some excellent examples.
- Macabeo – this white grape variety grows all over Spain and makes acidic young whites. It is usually the major grape in white Rioja and is also one of the grapes in Cava.
- Cava – is a Spanish sparkling wine, which is made using the same method as Champagne. Therefore it has a lot of contact with the yeast and you can expect to find the bready, complex notes that you would in Champagne.
- Sherry – is made in the South of Spain (Jerez). This fortified wine comes in many styles, most of which are not at all like Bristol Cream!
In the South of Spain due to the climate, there are very limited pests, therefore a lot of wine is produced organically or with very little chemicals. Some of the more traditional methods of wine making use filtration systems rather than fining, which naturally results in vegan wine. For more information on what makes wine vegan, please click here.