Spanish producers make some of the greatest wines in the world. Almost 5,000 years ago the ancient Romans and Carthaginians were the first to produce wine in Spain. Present day viticulturists still preserve ancient traditions. Often Spanish wine is aged in oak casks during the maturing produces. Both white and red wines are aged in oak casks. More often than not Spanish wine is red, and made from such grape varieties as Tempranillo, Garnacha (French Grenache), and Monastrell. Spanish white is made from Garnacha Blanca, Malvasia, and Macabeo, to name just a few. In all, about 90 grape varieties are cultivated in Spain.
There are several Spanish regions where fine wines are produced: Rioja, Ribera del Duero, Valencia, Catalonia, La Mancha, Navarra, Valdepenas, and Penedes. Each of them is divided into sub-regions, it is widely known that two wines made in the same province can often taste very different.
The classification of Spanish wines was first regulated in 1970. The approved system is used till today.
Spanish wines are classified as follows:
Vino de Mesa — table wines made of several grape varieties, similar to the French Vin de Table and Italian Vino da Tavola;
Vino de la tierra — local wines. The label provides information about the manufacturer, grape variety, as well as the crop year; similar to Vin de Pays in France and IGT in Italy.
Denominacion de Origen (DO) — this category includes vintage Spanish wine controlled by origin. Each wine region has a council, which monitors the technology of growing grapes and making wine. On bottles of wine, which belong to DO category, you will find a stamp of the corresponding council, similar to the AOC wines in France and the DOC in Italy.
Denominacion de Origen Calificada (DOC) — the best Spanish wines that are produced on the prestigious farms. To date, the best Spanish wine worthy of being labelled with the DOC sign is produced only in Rioja, Priorat and Ribera del Duero region.
In Rioja, wine is classified according to age:
Joven (or sin crianza) — a young, new, immature Spanish wine.
Crianza — a mature Spanish wine; for red wines the ageing period is no less than two years, for white and pink - at least one year. Wines in this category generally undergo a six-month aging process in oak casks.
Reserva — ageing of red wines lasts at least three years, of white and pink for at least two years.
Gran Reserva — Considered by some to be one of the greatest Spanish wines, red varieties are aged for five years or more, while white wines are generally slightly less at around four years. In all cases, Spanish wines spend at least six months in an oak cask, which gives the wine a recognisable special flavour.
If you’re interested in buying a Spanish wine, you’ve come to the right place. If you’re a new customer, welcome to WineStyle! At WineStyle, you can find quality and affordable wines of several different varieties. Spain exports an extensive range of wine, so the chances are you will be able to choose a wine which suits your personal preference and price range. Using the Winestyle.ru service is the easiest way to buy wine. Spain produces some of the most delicious and diverse wines in the world. Use WineStyle to acquaint yourself with the best varieties Spain has to offer. Excellent German and Austrian wines are also available, including many wines of the new world: Chilean, Argentine, Australian and wines from South Africa.