Origin Denomination



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Origin Denomination

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  • O.D. Penedès
    Penedès is a Spanish Denomination de Origen,)for wines in Catalonia (Spain). Penedès DO includes all Penedès region and municipalities of four other counties: Anoia, Alt Camp, Baix Llobregat and Tarragonès. The area is framed by the coastal hills of the Garraf Massif and the higher inland mountains which skirt the Central Depression.

    Long considered one of the country's best wine-producing regions after the Rioja, it is also one of the most ancient viticulture areas in Europe. Perhaps better-known for its cava production (a sparkling wine which has had its own Denomination de Origen since 1991) white grape varieties predominate, although the region also produces some highly regarded, oak-aged reds.

    The Denominació d'Origen Penedès is centred in the regional capital, Vilafranca del Penedès, with nearby Sant Sadurní d'Anoia the acknowledged centre of Cava production. Besides these two, the principal towns are Vilanova i la Geltrú, Sitges and el Vendrell. The Penedès denomination includes 66 municipalities.
    A distinction must be drawn between the boundaries of the traditional wine growing region and those of the historical administrative area. The wine-growing region is divided into three main subzones:
    • Alt Penedès, the most inland and mountainous subzone, characterised by relatively low yield and high quality
    • Penedès Central, situated to the southwest and resposnsible for the majority of the region's total production
    • Baix Penedès, comprising mostly low-lying, coastal areas
    According to archaeological evidence (some of which is on display in Vilafranca's Wine Museum) wine production in the Penedès has ancient origins, certainly dating back to the Phoenician introduction of Chardonnay vines during the 6th century BC. A large export market is known to have existed even through Moorish occupation in the Middle Ages. Eighteenth century Spanish expansion into South America generated an unprecedented demand for Penedès wines which has barely abated since.

    The region did not escape the pan-European devastation of the phylloxera plague, one effect of which was a large-scale change in the predominant grape types from red to almost exclusively white, which in turn led to the first Cava production in the 1870s. Since then, red varietals have regained some ground but remain a relatively minor part of regional production.

    The region has a highly varied geology characterized by very poor-quality, well-drained soils of mostly Miocene sediments, both continental and maritime, with occasional quaternary deposits. The sandy, clay-like soil is poor in organic matter and rocky in the main, the pre-littoral uplands consisting of Triassic, Cretaceous and oceanic deposits, while coastal mountains are mostly jagged Cretaceous limestone.

    Whereas a largely Mediterranean climate prevails, the Penedès enjoys a wide variety of micro-climates, due to the proximity of the coast and a varied terrain ranging from sea level to over 800m. Coastal areas are hot and dry, while upland vineyards are much more prone to frosts, with some areas recording annual rainfall of up to 900l/m²

    Extending from the low-lying plains of the Baix Penedès to the more temperate peaks of the Alt Penedès, the region is suited to growing an unusually wide range of grape varieties. While the more typical Spanish black grapes (Garnacha, Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cariñena, among others) are found in the hot and humid coastal plains, as the land rises whites become increasingly common.

    On this higher inland terrain Spanish Xarel·lo and Macabeo grapes form the overwhelming majority, but Penedès growers have long experimented with small plantations of French and German strains, with notable quantities of Muscat d’Alexandrie, Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Chenin blanc and Chardonnay being more recently introduced, largely to diversify the range of grapes available for blending, which plays such an important part in cava production. The Alt Penedès has vineyards which rank amongst the highest in Europe at up to 800 m above sea level, where the native Parellada is the dominant variety.

    Cava is inextricably linked to still wine production in the region, as its booming success of recent years has provided the revenue and innovation behind the rise, both in quality and in fortunes, of the region's still win.
  • O.D. Rueda
    Rueda is a Spanish Denomination de Origen (DO) for wines located in the Community of Castile and León. It comprises 72 municipalities, of which 53 are in the province of Valladolid, 17 are in the north of the province of Segovia, and 2 are in the north of the province of Ávila. It is known primarily for its fine white wines based on the verdejo grape he first documentary evidence of wine production in this area dates from the 11th century, when King Alfonso VI offered title to lands to settlers in the recently reconquered area. Many individuals and monastic orders accepted the offer and founded monasteries with their own vineyards.
    During the 18th century the land planted to vines was greater in extent than it is now and was exclusively under the Verdejo grape variety. The wines produced enjoyed great commercial success in part due to the clarification process used which involved the use of local clay.

    In the years between 1890 and 1922 the phylloxera louse destroyed over two thirds of the vines, which were replanted by grafting onto louse resistant New World rootstock. However, the new varieties were selected according to productivity criteria rather than quality ones and for many years the wine produced was sold in bulk.

    The idea of creating a DO was first raised in 1935 but it was not until 1972 that major investment by the Rioja winery, Marqués de Riscal, signalled the start of a second era of quality wine production, again based on the Verdejo variety. Official DO status was acquired in 1980.

    The DO is centred on the town of Rueda, in the province of Valladolid about 170 km northwest of Madrid. The land is a flat high plain at an altitude of between 600 and 780 m above sea level. The River Duero flows through the area from east to west.

    The climate is continental (long hot summers, cold winters) with a certain Atlantic maritime influences. Temperatures vary widely and can drop below zero in winter (-1 °C) and can reach 30 °C in summer, which is not as high as similar wine-producing regions insouthern Central Spain. There is a risk of frost, freezing fog, high winds and hailstones in winter/spring. On the other hand there is only a very small possibility of drought.
    Normally it rains in spring and autumn, with an average rainfall of 400 mm/year, while the vines receive 2,700 hours of sunlight per year.

    Close to the River Duero the soils are alluvial with a high lime content (max 24%). To the south the topsoil is brown and sandy with a gravel and clay subsoil. Drainage is good, has a rich iron content and is easy to plough.

    The main authorized white varieties are: Verdejo,  Viura, Sauvignon blanc, while the authorized red varieties are Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Garnacha.

    The authorised yield for white varieties is 8,000 kg/ha (10,000 kh/ha if on trellises) though in practice the yields are only between one quarter and one half of this level. Most new vineyards are planted with rows at 3 m intervals to allow mechanization. Irrigation is only allowed under special circumstances. Vines are often trained close to the ground to resist the strong winds that are characteristic of the area.
  • O.D. Manchuela
    Manchuela is a Spanish Denominación de Origen (DO) for wines located in the historical Manchuela comarca, in the east of the provinces of Cuenca and Albacete (Castile-La Mancha, Spain) between the valleys of the Rivers Júcar and Cabriel. It was originally part of a much larger DO (La Mancha (DO)) and became a separate DO in 1982. It is surrounded on three sides by other DOs: La Mancha to the west,Utiel-Requena to the east and Jumilla to the south.

    La Manchuela DO is the seventh DO to be created in the region of Castile-La Mancha. It includes over seventy municipalities, including Albacete itself and Motilla del Palancar in Cuenca.
    The climate is continental (long hot dry summers, cold winters) influenced by the nocturnal moisture bearing winds from the Levant, which help keep the mean annual temperature down to 25°C. Temperatures in winter rarely fall low enough to cause frost. Humidity is very low and virtually no rainfall between the months of May and September.

    The soil is lime-bearing clay and the vineyards are at an altitude of 600 – 700 m above sea level. There are two large reservoirs just to the north of the area which are used for irrigation of the vines.
    Red: Bobal, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo, Garnacha, Merlot, Monastrell, Moravia Dulce, Syrah White: Albillo, Chardonnay, Macabeo, Sauvignon blanc, Verdejo
  • O.D. Toro
    Toro is a Spanish Denomination de Origen (DO) for wines in the province of Zamora, which is in the northwest of Castile and Léon (Spain). The area covered by the DO is in the southeastern corner of Zamora province and includes the lands known as Tierra del Vino, Valle del Guareña and Tierra de Toro. It borders on the lands known as Tierra del Pan and Tierra de Campos. There are 8,000 ha under vines, of which 5,500 are registered with the DO Regulatory Council (Consejo Regulador).

    Wine has been made in Toro since the end of the 1st century BC, when the ancient Greeks taught the local Celtic tribes. In the Early Middle Ages, the wines from Toro were the first to be traded in the region of the River Duero.

    çKing Alfonso IX granted lands to several religious orders with the understanding that they would plant vines, and many of the 40 churches that exist in the town of Toro today were built thanks to the wealth generated by the wine trade. The reputation of the wines from Toro grew and it began to be sold in other cities further afield such as Seville and Palencia. At this time the wine producers built underground wineries (bodegas) in order to obtain better quality wines and to have more effective temperature control.

    At the end of the 19th century great quantities of wine were exported to France during the phylloxera crisis, which did not affect the local vines as they were protected by the sandy soil. For this reason, the vines of other regions of Spain were replaced by vines from Toro. For this reason, Toro still has a number of very old vineyards with pre-phylloxera Tinta de Toro, which in recent years have been used to source grapes for special cuvées.

    The Toro DO was created in 1987. The DO has an extreme continental climate (long, hot summers, cold winters) with Atlantic influences. Temperatures vary greatly, ranging from -11°C in winter to 37°C in summer. Rainfall is light, around 350-400 mm per annum. Hours of sunlight received are about 2,600 per annum with a maximum of 3,000.

    The soil is formed by sediments of sand, clays and lime-bearing puddingstone, which produce a dark lime-bearing topsoil, with fine and coarse sands.

    The vineyards are at heights of between 620 m and 750 m above sea level.
    Red grapes: Tinta de Toro ([syn. of Tempranillo), Garnacha

    White grapes: Verdejo, Malvasía

    The red wines are predominantly made with 100% Tinta de Toro grapes. there are several types of reds:

    Young red: best drunk within the year of production

    : a young red aged between three and six months (can contain some Garnacha)

    : aged for at least two years, of which at least six months in oak barrel

    : aged for at least three years, of which one year in oak barrel

    Gran Reserva
    : aged for at least five years, of which two years in oak barrel
    The rosé wines are made from 50% Tinta de Toro and 50% Garnacha

    The White wines are made from 100% Verdejo or 100% Malvasía
  • O.D. Rioja
    Rioja is a wine region, with Denomination de Origen Calificada (D.O.Ca. Qualified designation of origin) named after La Rioja, in Spain. Rioja is made from grapes grown not only in the Autonomous Community ofLa Rioja, but also in parts of Navarre and the Basque province of Álava. Rioja is further subdivided into three zones: Rioja Alta, Rioja Baja and Rioja Alavesa. Many wines have traditionally blended fruit from all three regions though there is a slow growth in single-zone wines.

    He harvesting of wine in La Rioja has an ancient lineage with origins dating back to the Phoenicians and the Celtiberians. The earliest written evidence of the existence of the grape in La Rioja dates to 873, in the form of a document from the Public Notary of San Millán dealing with a donation to the San Andrés de Trepeana (Treviana) Monastery. As was the case in many Mediterranean lands in mediaeval times, monks were the main practitioners of winemaking in La Rioja and great advocates of its virtues. In the thirteenth century, Gonzalo de Berceo, clergyman of the Suso Monastery in San Millán de la Cogolla (La Rioja) and Spain's earliest known poet, mentions the wine in some of his works.

    In the year 1063, the first testimony of viticulture in La Rioja appears in the "Carta de población de Longares" (Letter to the Settlers of Longares). The King of Navarra and Aragon gave the first legal recognition of Rioja wine in 1102. Vineyards occupied the usual part of rural landscapes in medieval Rioja during the High Middle Ages (10th-13th century)  There are proofs of Rioja wine export towards other regions as early as the late 13th century, which testifies the beginnings of a commercial production.[3] From the 15th century on, the Rioja Alta specialized in wine growing. In 1560, harvesters from Longares chose a symbol to represent the quality of the wines. In 1635, the mayor of Logroño prohibited the passing of carts through streets near wine cellars, in case the vibrations caused a deterioration of the quality of the wine. Several years later, in 1650, the first document to protect the quality of Rioja wines was drawn up. In 1790, at the inaugural meeting of the Real Society Economic de Cosecheros de La Rioja (Royal Economic Society of Rioja Winegrowers), many initiatives as to how to construct, fix, and maintain the roads and other forms of access for transportation of wine were discussed. The Society was established to promote the cultivation and commercialization of Rioja wines and 52 Rioja localities participated.

    In 1852, Luciano Murrieta created the first fine wine of the Duque de la Victoria area, having learned the process in Bordeaux. In 1892, the Viticulture and Enology Station of Haro was founded for quality-control purposes. In 1902, a Royal Decree determining the origin of Rioja wines is promulgated. The Consejo Regulador (Regulating Council) was created in 1926 with the objective of limiting the zones of production, expanding the warranty of the wine and controlling the use of the name "Rioja". This Council became legally structured in 1945 and was finally inaugurated in 1953. In 1970 the Regulations for Denomination de Origen were approved as well as Regulations for the Regulating Council. In 1991, the prestigious "Calificada" (Qualified) nomination was awarded to La Rioja, making it Spain's first Denomination de Origen Calificada (DOCa).

    In 2008, the Regulatory Council for the La Rioja Denomination of Origin created a new logo to go on all bottles of wine produced under this designation. From now on bottles of wine from the La Rioja Qualified Denomination of Origin will no longer bear the familiar logo. In an attempt to appeal to younger wine-lovers, the long-standing logo will now be replaced with a brighter, more modern logo with cleaner lines. The aim is to reflect the new, modern aspects of wine-growing in La Rioja without detracting from the traditional wines. In theory, the new logo represents a Tempranillo vine symbolizing “heritage, creativity and dynamism”. Consumers should start seeing the labels in October 2008. The Joven from 2008, Crianza from 2006, Reserva from 2005, and Gran Reserva from 2003 being released this year should bear the new label, in theory.

    Located south of the Cantabrian Mountains along the Ebro river, La Rioja benefits from a continental climate. The mountains help to isolate the region which has a moderating effect on the climate. They also protect the vineyards from the fierce winds that are typical of northern Spain. The region is also home to the Oja river (Rio Oja), believed to have given the region its name. Most of the region is situated on a plateau, a little more than 1,500 feet (460 m) above sea level. The area is subdivided into three regions - Rioja Alavesa, Rioja Alta and Rioja Baja. La Rioja Alavesa and la Rioja Alta, located closer to the mountains, are at slightly higher elevations and have a cooler climate. La Rioja Baja to the southeast is drier and warmer. Annual rainfall in the region ranges from 12 inches (300 mm) in parts of Baja to more than 20 inches (510 mm) in La Rioja Alta and Alavesa. Many of Rioja's vineyards are found along the Ebro valley between the towns of Haro and Alfaro.

    He three principal regions of La Rioja are Rioja Alavesa, Rioja Alta and Rioja Baja with each area producing its own unique expression of Rioja wine. Most of the territory subjected to the Rioja Protected designation of origin is in the La Rioja region, even though their limits do not coincide exactly. There is a narrow strip in the left bank of the Ebro river lying in the southernmost part of Álava included in the La Rioja wine region, whereas the south-southwestern part of the La Rioja region is not a part of this Protected designation of origin.

    Rioja Alta: Located on the western edge of the region and at higher elevations than the other areas, the Rioja Alta is known more for its "old world" style of wine. A higher elevation equates to a shorter growing season, which in turn produces brighter fruit flavors and a wine that is lighter on the palate.
    Rioja Alavesa:Despite sharing a similar climate as the Alta region, the Rioja Alavesa produces wines with a fuller body and higher acidity. Vineyards in the area have a low vine density with large spacing between rows. This is due to the relatively poor conditions of the soil with the vines needing more distance from each other and less competition for the nutrients in the surrounding soil.

    Rioja Baja: Unlike the more continental climate of the Alta and Alavesa, the Rioja Baja is strongly influenced by a Mediterranean climate which makes this area the warmest and driest of the Rioja. In the summer months, drought can be a significant viticulture hazard, though since the late 1990s irrigation has been permitted. Temperatures in the summer typically reach 35 °C (95 °F). A number of the vineyards are actually located in nearby Navarra but the wine produced from those grapes belongs to the Rioja appellation. Unlike the typically pale Rioja wine, Baja wines are very deeply coloured and can be highly alcoholic with some wines at 18% alcohol by volume. They typically do not have much acidity or aroma and are generally used as blending components with wines from other parts of the Rioja.

    Rioja wines are normally a blend of various grape varieties, and can be either red (tinto), white (blanco) or rosé (rosado). La Rioja has a total of 57,000 hectares cultivated, yielding 250 million litres of wine annually, of which 85% is red. The harvest time for most Rioja vineyards is September–October with the northern Rioja Alta having the latest harvest in late October.[8] The soil here is clay based with a high concentration of chalk and iron.[9] There is also significant concentration of limestone, sandstone and alluvial silt.

    Among the tintos, the best-known and most widely used variety is Tempranillo. Other grapes used include Garnacha Tinta, Graciano, and Mazuelo. A typical blend will consist of approximately 60% Tempranillo and up to 20% Garnacha, with much smaller proportions of Mazuelo and Graciano. Each grape adds a unique component to the wine with Tempranillo contributing the main flavors and aging potential to the wine; Garnacha adding body and alcohol; Mazuelo adding seasoning flavors and Graciano adding additional aromas. Some estates have received special dispensation to include Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend due to historical inclusion of that grape in their wine that predates the formation of the Consejo Regulador.
    With Rioja Blanco, Viura is the prominent grape (also known as Macabeo) and is normally blended with some Malvasía and Garnacha blanca. In the white wines the Viura contributes mild fruitness, acidity and some aroma to the blend with Garnacha blanca adding body and Malvasía adding aroma. Rosados are mostly derived from Garnacha grapes. The "international varieties" of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot have gained some attention and use through experimental plantings by some bodegas but their use has created wines distinctly different from the typical Rioja.

    Some of the most sought after grapes come from the limestone/sandstone based "old vine" vineyards in the Alavesa and Alta regions. The 40 year plus old vines are prized due to their low yields and more concentrated flavors. A unique DO regulation stipulates that the cost of the grapes used to make Rioja must exceed by at least 200% the national average of wine grapes used in all Spanish wines.
    A distinct characteristic of Rioja wine is the effect of oak aging. First introduced in the early 18th century by Bordeaux influenced winemakers, the use of oak and the pronounced vanillaflavors in the wines has been a virtual trademark of the region though some modern winemakers are experimenting with making wines less influenced by oak. Originally French oak was used but as the cost of the barrels increased many bodegas began to buy American oak planks and fashion them into barrels at Spanish cooperages in a style more closely resembling the French method. This included hand splitting the wood, rather than sawing, and allowing the planks time to dry and "season" in the outdoors versus drying in the kiln. In recent times, more bodegas have begun using French oak and many will age wines in both American and French oak for blending purposes.

    In the past, it was not uncommon for some bodegas to age their red wines for 15–20 years or even more before their release.

    The use of oak in white wine has declined significantly in recent times when before the norm was traditionally 2–5 years in oak. This created slightly oxidized wines with flavors of caramel, coffee, and roasted nuts that did not appeal to a large market of consumers with some of the more negative examples showing characteristics of rubber and petrol flavors. Today the focus of white wine makers has been to enhance the vibrancy and fruit flavors of the wine.

    Some winemakers utilize a derivative of carbonic maceration in which whole clusters are placed in large open vats allowed to ferment inside the individual grape berries, without the addition of yeast, for a few days before they are crushed.[7]

    In the 1960s, Bodegas Rioja Santiago developed the first bottled version of the wine punch Sangría, based on Rioja wine, and exhibited it at the 1964 New York World's Fair. An importsubsidiary of Pepsi Cola purchased the rights to the wine and began marketing it worldwide.

    Rioja red wines are classified into four categories. The first, simply labeled Rioja, is the youngest, spending less than a year in an oak aging barrel. A crianza is wine aged for at least two years, at least one of which was in oak. Rioja Reserva is aged for at least three years, of which at least one year is in oak. Finally, Rioja Gran Reserva wines have been aged at least two years in oak and three years in bottle. Reserva and Gran Reserva wines are not necessarily produced each year. Also produced are wines in a semi-crianza style, those that have had a couple of months oak influence but not enough to be called a full crianza. The designation of crianzaReserva etc. might not always appear on the front label but may appear on a neck or back label in the form of a stamp designation known as Consejo.

    In Spain, wineries are commonly referred to as bodegas though this term may also refer to a wine cellar or warehouse. For quite some time, the Rioja wine industry has been dominated by local family vineyards and co-operatives that have bought the grapes and make the wine. Some bodegas would buy fermented wine from the co-ops and age the wine to sell under their own label. In recent times there has been more emphasis on securing vineyard land and making estate bottled wines from the bodegas.

    Like most Spanish wine regions, Rioja is an integral part of Spanish culture and cuisine. In the town of Haro there is an annual Wine Festival that is noted for its Batalla de Vino where participants conduct a food fight of sorts with wine.
  • O.D. Ribera de Duero
    Ribera del Duero is a Spanish Denomination de Origen (DO) located in the country's northern plateau and is one of eleven 'quality wine' regions within the autonomous community of Castile and León. It is also one of several recognized wine-producing regions to be found along the course of the Duero river.

    The region is characterized by a largely flat, rocky terrain and is centred on the town of Aranda de Duero, although the most famous vineyards surround  Peñafiel and  Roa de Duero to the west, where the regional regulatory council or Consejo Regulator for the denomination is based.

    Ribera del Duero was named wine region of the year 2012 by the prestigious Wine Enthusiast Magazine.
    Wine has been produced in the region for thousands of years, but viticulture as we know it probably arrived in the Ribera del Duero region with Benedictine monks from Cluny in the Burgundy region of France in the twelfth century.] Ribera del Duero wine making goes back over 2,000 years as evidenced by the 66-meter mosaic of Bacchus, the god of wine that was unearthed relatively recently at Baños de Valdearados.

    The Denomination de Origen (D.O.) of Ribera del Duero was founded on July 21, 1982, by an organization of wine producers and growers who were determined to promote the quality of their wines and enforce regulatory standards.Reports that it was set to be upgraded to Denomination de Origen Calificada (DOCa) status in 2008 proved to be unfounded and, as at 2011, it remains a DO and has no plans to change
    Ribero del Duero wines are currently enjoying greater popularity, thanks largely to the considerable interest shown in the area by experienced growers from other regions.

    The Ribera del Duero is located on the extensive, elevated northern plateau of the Iberian Peninsula. It occupies the southern plains of the province of Burgos, extends west into Valladolid and includes parts of Segovia and Soria provinces to the south and east, respectively. As its name suggests, the region follows the course of the Duero river for approximately 115 km upstream from Valladolid and is around 35 km at its widest. The region is located around the younger stretches of the river, which later passes through the nearby Toro and Rueda regions before traversing the famous Portuguese growing areas of Douro and Porto, where it drains into the Atlantic Ocean.

    Geologically, tertiary sediments, consisting of gently lenticular layers of silty or clayey sand, alternate with layers of limestone, marl and chalky concretions. The Duero valley, formed during the Miocene period, has a flat, rocky, gently undulating terrain, ranging from 911 m down to 750 m above sea level. The national highway N122 follows the river valley.

    The Ribera del Duero has moderate to low rainfall (450 mm per year) and is exposed to quite extreme climatic conditions; long, dry summers with temperatures of up to 40 °C are followed by hard winters during which temperatures may fall as low as -18 °C. There are also marked variations in temperature within each season. The climate is continental and Mediterranean, with more than 2,400 hours of annual sunlight.[9]
    Vineyards occupy around 120 km² of the region, most of which are situated in the province of Burgos, with around 5 km² in Valladolid and 6 km² in Soria. 

    Wines produced in the Ribera del Duero DO derive almost exclusively from red grapes. The Albillo grape is the only white variety grown, white wines being mostly destined for local consumption. The vast majority of production is dedicated to Tinto Fino (the local name for Tempranillo), the dominant red varietal in the northern half of the Spanish peninsula. Tinto Fino is often, but not always complemented with Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Merlot, although the famous Tinto Pesquera, grown by Alejandro Fernández in Pesquera de Duero, is a 100% Tempranillo varietal wine. The introduction of Pesquera's 100% Tinto Fino wine was, at the time, somewhat controversial, as the considered benchmark Vega Sicilia wines traditionally blended Tinto Fino with such Bordeaux varietals as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec.

    There are other similarities between Rioja and Ribera del Duero. Whereas the wines are quite distinctive as a result of significant differences in terroir, both regions produce wines selected for long aging with highly complex vinification procedures, producing intense, extremely long-lived wines emanating from largely limestone soils. Wines are classified as much for their longevity as their grape quality, and Ribera del Duero produces some extremely well-aging wines. The aging requirements for Ribera del Duero are the same used in Rioja. Wines labelled as "Crianza" must age two years with 12 months in oak. "Reserva" wines must be aged at least three years with at least 12 months in oak. The "Gran Reserva" labelled wines must spend 5 years aging prior to release, two being in oak.

    The town of Pesquera is particularly noted for its wines and the area around La Horra (another small town in the region) is respected by locals for its consistent quality. Viña Sastre is one of the region's more respected wine producers and the world-renowned Vega Sicilia easily the most famous. Vega Sicilia's more eminent customers include Prince Charles of the British royal family, while Alex Ferguson's favourite wine is Pesquera. Other notable bodegas include, Dominio de Pingus, Bodegas Alion, and Hacienda Monasterio, all of which lie along The Golden Mile, Spain.
  • O.D. Campo de Borja
    Campo de Borja is a Spanish Denomination de Origen (DO) for wines located in the Campo de Borja comarca, northwest of theprovince of Zaragoza (Aragon, Spain). It is a transition zone between the plains of the River Ebro and the mountains of the Sistema Ibérico. The DO comprises 16 municipalities. The Moncayo mountain is the dominant feature of the DO and creates a microclimate which gives the wines a special character.

    It is assumed that the ancient Romans introduced and developed grape-growing in this region, but the first written reference is a document in the archives of the Cistercian Monastery of Veruela which refers to donations of vineyards in the year 1203. During the centuries of Arab domination of the Iberian Peninsula, grape and wine production decreased and only increased again after the reconquest by Christian forces.
    During the course of the 15th century the successive abbots of the Veruela Monastery acquired vast quantities of land and placed it under vines. According to the monastery’s records, in 1453 they even bought an entire town (Ainzón) with all its fields, pastures, watercourses and vineyards.

    This monastery was very influential in the development of wine production right up to the 19th century, and was responsible for the replanting and grafting of the entire area after the phylloxera plague. The area was finally recognised as a Denominación de Origin in 1980 when the statutes were approved.
    The climate is continental, with Atlantic influences during the winter, notably a cold, dry wind from the northeast. In summer, there is a Mediterranean influence. The temperature varies a great deal, both on a daily and on a seasonal basis. Annual rainfall is very low, only about 350 mm in the low-lying areas and 450 mm in higher areas. The vineyards are planted on a series of high plateaus at heights ranging between 350 m and 750 m above sea level.

    The soils are mainly dark lime-bearing soils, of average rockiness, good drainage, average level of organic matter and rich in nutrients. Closer to the Moncayo the clay and iron content increases, as does the general rockiness.

    There are currently about 6,300 ha under vines which produce between 20 and 25 million kg of grapes. The vines are cultivated both as low bushes (en vaso) and also on trellises (en espaldera).
    uthorized red grapes: Garnacha, Tempranillo, Mazuela, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah Authorised white grapes: Macabeo, Moscatel
  • O.D. Priorat
    Priorat  is a Catalan Denominació d'Origen Qualificada (DOQ) in Catalan for wines produced in the Priorat county to the south-west of Catalonia

    The DOQ covers 11 municipalities. It primarily produces powerful red wines, which came to international attention in the 1990s. The area is characterized by its unique terroir of black slate and quartz soil known as llicorella.

    It is one of only two wine regions in Spain to qualify as DOCa, the highest qualification level for a wine region according to Spanish wine regulations, alongside Rioja DOCa.
    Priorat is the Catalan spelling, which is the one usually appearing on wine labels, while the Spanish spelling is Priorato.

    The first recorded evidence of grape growing and wine production dates from the 12th century, when the monks from the Carthusian Monastery of Scala Dei, founded in 1194, introduced the art of viticulture in the area. The prior of Scala Dei ruled as a feudal lord over seven villages in the area, which gave rise to the name Priorat. The monks tended the vineyards for centuries until 1835 when they were expropriated by the state, and distributed to smallholders.

    At the end of the 19th century, the phylloxera pest devastated the vineyards causing economic ruin and large scale emigration of the population. Before the phylloxera struck, Priorat is supposed to have had around 5,000 hectares (12,000 acres) of vineyards.[4] It was not until the 1950s that replanting was undertaken. The DO Priorat was formally created in 1954. The seat of the DO's regulatory body was initially Reus, some 30 km to the east of the wine-region, rather than in Priorat itself.

    In the decade from 1985, the production of bulk wine was phased out and bottling of quality wine phased in.
    Early on, winemaking cooperatives dominated. Much of the development of Priorat wines to top class is credited to René Barbier and Álvaro Palacios Winemaker Barbier, then active at a winery in Rioja owned by the Palacios family, bought his first land for Priorat vineyards in 1979, convinced of the region's potential. At this stage, there were 600 hectares (1,500 acres) of Priorat vineyards. In the 1980s, he convinced others, including Palacios, to follow suit and plant new vineyards in suitable locations, all named Clos. For the first three vintages, 1989–1991, the group of five wineries pooled their grapes, shared a winery in Gratallops, and made one wine sold under five labels: Clos Mogador (Barbier), Clos Dofi (Palacios, later renamed to Finca Dofi), Clos Erasmus, Clos Martinet and Clos de l'Obac. From 1992, these wines were made separately. In 1993, Palacios produced a wine called L'Ermita sourced from very old Priorat vines, which led to an increased interest in using the region's existing vineyards to produce wines in a new style.

    The Catalan authorities approved of Priorat's elevation from DO to DOQ status in 2000, but national level confirmation from the Spanish Government in Madrid only came on July 6, 2009. In the period from 2000 to 2009, when it was approved as DOQ but not yet as DOCa, despite the fact that these designations were exactly the same but in Catalan and Spanish, respectively, the situation was somewhat confused. A new set of DOQ rules were approved by the Catalan government in 2006. The regulatory body moved from Reus to Torroja del Priorat in 1999.

    The vineyard surface of Priorat has been continuously expanding since the Clos-led quality revolution in the 1990s. At the turn of the millennium there was 1,000 hectares (2,500 acres) of vineyards, with an equal amount of planting rights secured.[4] As of 2009, there are close to 1,800 hectares (4,400 acres).
    The DOQ comprises the valleys of the rivers Siurana and Montsant. The vineyards are planted on the slopes on terraces at altitudes of between 100 m and 700 m above sea level. Priorat is almost entirely surrounded by the DO Montsant, which makes wine in a similar style.

    The demarcated zone has a total size of 19,783 hectares (48,880 acres).
    In 2013, the enotourism guidebook series, Vinologue published the first comprehensive guide to all the regions of Priorat as well as profiles for all the full production cellars.

    The area is of volcanic origin which confers interesting characteristics to the soil. The basis (called llicorella in Catalán) comprises reddish and black slate with small particles of mica, which reflects the sunlight and conserves heat. The 50 cm thick topsoil is formed of decomposed slate and mica. These characteristics force the roots of the vines to reach the base for water, nutrition and minerals. These soil characteristics confer special quality to the wine and keep the vines firmly anchored to the earth during the strong winds and storms which are common to the area.

    Even though Priorat DOQ covers a small area, there are several different micro-climates present. Generally, the climate is more extreme than most continental climate areas, though there is a marked contrast between the valleys and the higher areas. There are both freezing winds from the north (mitigated somewhat by the Montsant mountain) and also the warm Mistral wind from the east.

    Summers are long, hot and dry (max temperature 35°) while winters are cold (min temperature -4 °C). There is the occasional risk of frost, hailstones and drought. The average annual temperature is 15 °C, and average annual rainfall is 400–600 mm.
    The traditional grape variety grown in El Priorat is the red Garnacha tinta, which is found in all the older vineyards. Also authorized are the following red varieties: Garnacha Peluda, Cariñena, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. Four white varieties are also authorized: Garnacha blanca, Macabeo, Pedro Ximénez and Chenin.

    The trend among the red varieties is that Garnacha stays constant, Cariñena decreases and the international grape varieties increase. While Cabernet Sauvignon has always been in the lead among these, in recent years, Syrah has increased faster.

    Yields are very low, usually much lower than the authorized maximum yield of 6,000 kg/ha, due to the rocky nature of the soil that does not allow the accumulation of water. The vines are usually planted as low bushes (en vaso) though the newer vineyards tend to be planted on trellises (en espaldera).
    As of 2008, Priorat had 1,767 hectares (4,370 acres) of vineyards, of which 1,689 hectares (4,170 acres) or 96% was planted with red varieties, and 78 hectares (190 acres) or 4% with white varieties.The average planting density was 2,850 vines per hectare, compared to the mandated 2,500 to 9,000 vines per hectare.
    In 2008, 4,796 tones (5,287 tons) of grapes were harvested, of which 4,580 tones (5,050 tons) (96%) was red grapes and 198.5 tones (218.8 tons) (4%) white grapes. This resulted in 27,698 hectoliters (609,300 imp gal; 731,700 US gal) of wine. During the recent expansion of Priorat vineyards, production of red grapes has expanded, while the production of white grapes has even declined somewhat. Thus, the proportion of white grapes has dropped from 10% in 2001 to 4% in 2008, while the total production increased by 92% over the same period.

    The yield in 2008 corresponds to 2,700 kg of grapes per hectare compared to the official maximum of 6,000 kg per hectare, and corresponds to 16 hectoliter per hectare. The official maximum corresponds to a yield of 39 hectoliter per hectare, as a 65% conversion (0.65 litre of wine per kilogram of grapes) is foreseen. Some producers have yields of only around 5 hectoliter per hectare.[
    The traditional reds from El Priorat are a single grape bottling of Grenache and Carignan or then a blend of these two grapes blended in a "Bordeaux" style with other French varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon (which is falling out of favor), Merlot, or Syrah among others.
    • Criança wines must remain in oak barrels for 6 months and then 18 months in the bottle.
    • Reserva wines must remain in oak barrels for 12 months and then 24 months in the bottle.
    • Gran Reserva wines remain in oak barrels for 24 months and then 36 months in the bottle.
    Few wineries (cellers) follow these guidelines strictly and the usual practice is to produce what is known as vi de guarda (aged wine) that has been in oak barrels for 18 months followed by 6 months in the bottle, the optimal moment for consumption being 2 years later.
    Cava (Catalan pronunciation: [ˈkaβə], plural caves) is a sparkling wine of Denominación de Origen (DO) status, most of which is produced in Catalonia. It may be white (blanco) or rosé (rosado). The macabeu, parellada and xarel·lo are the most popular and traditional grape varieties for producing cava. Only wines produced in the champenoise traditional method may be labelled cavas, those produced by other processes may only be called "sparkling wines" (vinos espumosos). About 95% of all cava is produced in the Penedès area in Catalonia, with the village of Sant Sadurní d'Anoia being home to many of Spain's largest production houses

    In the past, cava was referred to as "Spanish champagne", which is no longer permitted under European Union law, since Champagne has Protected Geographical Status (PGS) and Spain entered the EU in 1986. Colloquially it is still calledchampán or champaña in Spanish or xampany in Catalan. Today it is defined by law as a "quality sparkling wine produced in a designated region" (vino Espumoso de Calidad Producido en una Región Determinada, VECPRD).

    Cava is an important part of Catalan and Spanish family tradition and is often consumed at celebrations like baptisms, marriages, banquets, dinners and parties.
    The Catalan word cava (masculine, plural caves) means "cave" or "cellar". Caves were used in the early days of cava production for the preservation or aging of wine. Catalan winemakers officially adopted the term in 1970 to distinguish their product from French champagne.

    Spanish sparkling wine was first made as early as 1851, although the roots of the cava industry can be traced back to Josep Raventós's travels through Europe in the 1860s, where he was promoting the still wines of the Codorníu Winery. His visits to Champagne sparked an interest in the potential of a Spanish wine made using the same traditional method. He created his first sparkler in 1872, after the vineyards of Penedès were devastated by the phylloxera plague, and the predominantly red vines were being replaced by large numbers of vines producing white grapes.

    Catalan cava producers pioneered a significant technological development in sparkling wine production with the invention of the gyropallet, a large mechanized device that replaced hand riddling, in which the lees are consolidated in the neck of the bottle prior to disgorgement and corking
    According to Spanish law, cava may be produced in eight wine regions: Aragon, the Basque Country, Castile and León, Catalonia, Extremadura, Navarra, Rioja or the Valencian Community. The Penedès is located in Catalonia, and there is only one Castilian producer, in the town of Aranda de Duero.

    To make rosé cava, small quantities of still red wines from Cabernet Sauvignon, Garnacha or Monastrell are added to the wine. Besides Macabeu, Parellada, and Xarello, Cava may also contain Chardonnay, Pinot noir and Subirat grapesThe first cava to use chardonnay was produced in 1981. Like Champagne, cava is produced in varying levels of sweetness, ranging from the dryest, brut nature, through brut, brut reserve, sec (seco), semisec (semiseco), to dolsec (dulce), the sweetest.
  • O.D. Cava
  • O.D. Montsant
    Montsant  (Catalan pronunciation: [munsan]) is a Spanish Denominación de Origen, DO (Catalan: Denominació d'Origen) for wine located in the province of Tarragona (Catalonia, Spain) and covers 12 municipalities. It was previously known as the Falset subzone of Tarragona (DO), and was created as a separate DO in the early 2000s. Regional approval came in 2001, and from 2002 wines were sold as Montsant rather than Tarragona. Montsant takes its name from the Montsant mountains in the area.

    There are currently about 1,857 hectares (4,590 acres) of Montsant vineyards. Under the auspices of the DO Montsant, the region has seen rapid growth, starting with 28 official cellars in 2002 which grew to number 57 currently. Approximately 94% of the production is of red wine with 62% exportation outside of Spain, 28% consumed in Catalonia, and 10% sold to the rest of Spain.

    Montsant DO almost completely surrounds the more famous Priorat (DOQ). The vineyards extend along the mountainsides among olive groves, forests and rocky outcrops. The denomination covers the area of Priorat comarca that is not part of DOQ Priorat as well as part of the neighboring comarca of Ribera d'Ebre. In total, 17 villages are included: La Bisbal de Falset, Cabacés, Capçanes, Cornudella de Montsant, La Figuera, els Guiamets, Marçà, Margalef, El Masroig, Pradell de la Teixeta, La Torre de Fontaubella, Ulldemolins, along with portions of Falset, Garcia, El Molar, Móra la Nova and Tivissa (the sub-villages of Darmós and La Serra d'Almos.)

    In 2014, the enotourism guidebook series, Vinologue published the first comprehensive guide to the all the regions of DO Montsant as well as profiles for all the full production cellars.[

    Vineyards range from 200–700 meters in altitude and sit on three main soil types: chalky clay, granitic sand, and slate. The altitude tends to increase towards the Serra de Montalt in the southwest and towards the Serra de Montsant in the northwest. There is a large degree of variation from the small, relatively flat plain around Falset and Marçà to the high altitude village of La Figuera that sits on a mountain range at 575 meters.

    The climate is Mediterranean with continental influences. Summers are dry and annual rainfall is about 650 mm, falling mainly in autumn. There is only an occasional risk of hailstones or frost.

    The authorized white varieties are: Chardonnay, White Grenache, Macabeo, Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains, Parellada, and Xarel·lo. The authorized red varieties are: Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan, Grenache, 'Hairy' Grenache, Merlot, Mourvèdre, Red Picapoll,Syrah and Tempranillo.

    The main style of Montsant is powerful red wines, which can be similar to the wines of Priorat when they are made from old vine Grenache and Carignan. Production also includes white wines, rosé wines, sweet red wines and 'vi ranci' style wines made using a Solera system.

    DO Montsant has the distinction of being the only region in Catalonia (and one of only a handful) in Spain where Kosher wine is produced. There are two producers in the denomination, but the best known is Celler de Capçanes  who have been producing their Peraj d'Habib line with great success in a Kosher certified cellar within their main facilities
  • D.O. Rioja Alavesa
  • O.D. Ribeiro
    Ribeiro is a Spanish Denominación de Origen (DO) (Denominación de Orixe in Galician) for wines located in the northwest of the province of Ourense (Galicia, Spain), in the valleys formed by the rivers Miño, Arnoia, Avia and Barbantiño. It has an area of 30 km² including 9 municipalities in their entirety and parts of four others.

    Ribeiro has a long tradition of producing and exporting wine from the Galician Atlantic ports. It is believed that the first vineyards were planted by the ancient Romans. From the Middle Ages up to the 18th century the area was renowned for its sweet wines (vinos tostados), which were produced here long before they were produced in the Canary Islands or in Andalusia. They were made from sun-dried grapes and were known as Ribadavia. They were drunk by the pilgrims passing through the area on their way to Santiago. Significant quantities of white fortified Ribadavia wines were exported to England in the 17th and 18th centuries.
    Nowadays, white Ribeiro wines are known for their fresh, slightly acidic, fruity character.

    The vineyards are at altitudes of between 75 and 400 m above sea level in the valleys and on the slopes which can sometimes be very steep. The use of terraces (known locally as socalcos or bocaribeiras) is common.

    The soils are deep (between 70 and 100 cm) and basically of granitic origin with a significant content of stones and gravel which improve the structure of the soil and reflect sunlight onto the vines.
    The soil texture is mainly sandy. Organic matter content varies between 2% and 4%. The soils in the area have a tendency to acidify, and this is corrected by the grape growers.

    The climate is a transition zone between oceanic and Mediterranean, so it is humid and temperate, with average annual temperatures of 14.5 °C. The grapes generally have no problem ripening and conserve all their aroma and acidity. In addition there are natural barriers that protect the area from Atlantic storms.

    Average annual rainfall is high (950 mm) though there are three months in the summer when it is very sparse. The vines receive a maximum of around 1900 hours of sunlight per year.

    White wine represents about 80% of the wine produced, and is most produced with the Treixadura variety which is native to the area. Other authorised white varieties are: Albariño, Godello, Torrontés, Loureira, Macabeo and Albillo.

    Authorised red varieties are Caiño, Ferrón, Sousón, Brancellao, Mencía, Garnacha and Tempranillo
  • O.D. Valtiendas
    Valtiendas is a Spanish geographical indication for wines referred to legally as Vino de Calidad con Indication Geographic. This is one step below the mainstream Denomination de Origen quality wines and one step above the less stringent Vino de la Tierra table wines on the quality ladder.

    It is located in the province of Segovia (region of Castile-Leon) and borders on the well-known wine region of Ribera del Duero.

    Only the following red grape varieties are authorized: Tempranillo or Tinta del país, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Albillo, Garnacha and Merlot.
  • O.D. Terra Alta
    Terra Alta is a Spanish Denomination de Origen (DO) (Denominació d’Origen in Catalan) for wines located in the west of the province of Tarragona (Catalonia, Spain) and covers 12 inland municipalities. As the name indicates (Terra Alta = High Land) the area is in the mountains. It is of great natural beauty and features in many of Picasso’s paintings.

    Traditionally, due to its geographical isolation, this area traditionally only made wine for local consumption and has only recently started to produce modern Mediterranean style wines.

    Several cooperative wineries were designed and built in the 1920s by Cèsar Martinell, a student of Antoni Gaudí, and are notable for their modernist architectural style.

    In the times of the ancient Romans, the road from Zaragoza to Tortosa passed through the area, and is probably when grape growing was first introduced. In the Middle Ages, the Knights Templar planted vines, but the geographical distance to markets and to ports meant that a lot of vineyards were converted to olive groves instead.

    There are extant legal documents on the regulation of the grape and wine industry: Las Costums d’Orta dating from 1296 and Las Costums de Miravet from 1319.
    During the 19th century the vinos rancios (rancid wines) from Terra Alta, such as “Amber Blanc” attained great fame.

    However, the area was devastated by the outbreak of the phylloxera virus. The current vineyards were replanted (by grafting onto New World rootstock) between 1920 and 1950, largely by means of the creations of cooperatives.

    Terra Alta DO acquired official status in 1982 and there are currently 8,200 ha covered, with 1,800 grape growers and 42 wineries registered.[1]

    The main town in the area is Gandesa. To the east the Terra Alta DO borders on Tarragona (DO), while to the west it borders on the province of Teruel. The mountains reach a height of 950 m above sea level, though the vineyards are lower down on the slopes, valleys and plateaus.

    The climate is mixture of Mediterranean and continental. The summers are long, hot and dry and the winters are very cold. The average annual temperature is 16.5°C (max 35°C in summer, min -5°C in winter). There is a risk of late frosts in spring. Average annual rainfall is about 400 mm. A dry wind, known as el Mestral from the valley of the River Ebro is influential in keeping humidity low and thus protecting the vines from disease.

    The soils are clayey, with a good lime content, poor in organic material, with a significant proportion of sizable elements which allows for good drainage.

    There are many authorised varieties, some traditional varieties and some of foreign origin:
    • White grapes: Garnacha blanca, Parellada, Macabeo, Moscatel and Chardonnay (experimentally, Chenin blanc, Sauvignon blanc and Marselan are also authorised);
    • Red grapes: Carignan, Grenache, Garnacha Peluda, Morenillo, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Tempranillo.
  • VT Castilla/León
    Castilla y León is a Spanish geographical indication for Vino de la Tierra wines located in the autonomous region of Castile and León. Vino de la Tierra is one step below the mainstream Denominación de Origen indication on the Spanish wine quality ladder.

    The area covered by this geographical indication comprises all the municipalities in Castile and León.
    It acquired its Vino de la Tierra status in 2005.
  • O.D. Rias Baixas
    Rías Baixas is a Spanish Denomination de Origen (DO) (Denominación de Orixe in Galician) for wines located in the province of Pontevedra and the south of the province of A Coruña in the autonomous community of Galicia, Spain. It is renowned for its white wines made from the Albariño grape variety.

    It is believed that the Albariño grape was introduced to the area in the 12th century by the Cistercian monks of the Monastery of Armenteira.

    The sub-zones of Rosal and Condado have a long history of grape growing and wine production and have their own traditional styles. The Salnés sub-zone only recently began to produce Albariño wines, for local sales to bars and restaurants.

    Rías Baixas acquired its official status as a Denomination de Origen (DO) in 1988. This replaced the earlier "Denominación Específica Albariño" status which had been granted in 1980. Its Consejo Regulador is based in the city of Pontevedra.
    The DO is divided into five sub-zones, four of them in the province of Pontevedra and one in the south of the province of A Coruña:

    Val do Salnés
     is located on the lower reaches of the river Umia and centred on the town of Cambados. The landscape is of low undulating hills and the vineyards are planted both on the slopes and on the flat valley floors. The soil is generally rocky and alluvial.
    O Rosal is located further south, along the Portuguese frontier in the basin of the river Miño and extends inwards towards the town of Tui. The vineyards here are planted on terraces on the banks of the Miño. The soils are alluvial.

    Condado do Tea
    , in the west, extends westwards from Tui along the Miño valley up to the neighboring  Ribeiro (DO). The landscape is more abrupt and consists of several small river valleys. The soils are granite and slate based.

    The Soutomaior sub-zone was incorporated into the Denominación de Origen in 1996 and is located just south of the city of Pontevedra. The soils are light and sandy, and covered with granite.

    The Ribera de Ulla sub-zone, to the north of Pontevedra was incorporated recently in 2000. The soils are
    mainly alluvial.

    The climate is Atlantic, with wet winters and sea fog. In general rainfall is high and the temperatures mild. In general, maximum temperatures in summer rarely usually exceed 30 °C and only drop to 0 °C in December and January.

    The coldest areas are Ribera do Ulla and Val do Salnés due to their proximity to the coast. The warmest is Condado do Tea where temperatures in summer sometimes approach 40 °C, but the winters are cold with frequent frosts and rainfall of over 2,000 mm a year.

    Strong winds can occasionally cause problems for the vineyards, especially those located on the west face of the coast. Frosts, hailstones and summer heat can also cause complications.

    The regulatory Council (Consejo Regulador) of the Rias Baixas DO currently authorizes twelve different grape varieties, though Albariño represents over 90% of all vines planted.
    • Authorised white grapes: Albariño, Loureira blanca, Treixadura, Caiño blanca, Torrontés and Godello
    • Authorised red varieties: Caiño tinto, Espadeiro, Loureira tinta, Sousón, Mencía and Brancellao
    The vines are trained along granite posts (called parrales) and wires so as to protect them from humidity and to maximise their exposure to the sun in summer.
    Over 90% of the wines produced are white, predominantly using the Albariño grape variety.
  • O.D. Navarra
    Navarra is a Spanish Denomination de Origen (DO) for wines that extends over practically the entire southern half of the autonomous community of Navarre (Spanish Navarra, Basque Nafarroa). The vineyards are on the lower slopes of the Pyrenees as they descend towards the basin of the river Ebro.

    The region used to be renowned only for its rosado wines but in recent years has been producing quality reds and whites as well.

    The earliest historical data on grape growing and wine production in Navarra dates from the 2nd century BC, when the ancient Romans built wineries (bodegas). Remains of winery equipment and installations have been found at the archaeological excavations inArellano (Villa de la Musas), Falces, Lumbier and Muruzábal de Andion (Villa de Andelos).

    In the Middle Ages, when Navarre was a powerful independent kingdom with close ties to France, viticulture prospered, partly due to the demand from the pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago (Way of St. James). In the 12th century, the wine from Navarre was recommended to pilgrims in guidebooks, and was also exported abroad.

    Towards the end of the 18th century viticulture was the main agricultural activity of the region. In 1855 there was an outbreak of oidium which affected wine production, three years after a similar outbreak in the Bordeaux (France) region. However, in 1892, thephylloxera plague devastated the vineyards, destroying an estimated 98% of the 50,000 ha of vines planted at that time.

    At the beginning of the 20th century, the vineyards were replanted by grafting onto New World rootstock. Wine cooperatives were formed and successfully increased production by exporting large quantities of wine in bulk.

    During the 1980s private wineries and cooperatives began bottling and labeling quality wine. The statutes of the Denomination de Origen, which were originally approved in 1933, have been updated to reflect the shift of emphasis from bulk production to quality 

    The DO is divided into 5 sub-zones, each one of which has a distinct identity and produces characteristic wines.

    Valdizarbe, the northernmost sub-zone on the upper reaches of the Arga River is a strategic location on the Way of St. James as several paths crossing Navarre converge there. The vineyards cover 25 different municipalities.

    To the west of Valdizarbe, Tierra Estella covers 38 different municipalities and extends along the Way of St. James in Western Navarre, on the middle reaches of the Ega River.

    The Ribera Alta sub-zone is centred on the town of Olite on the left bank of the river Ebro, above the lower reaches of the rivers Arga, Ega and Aragón, and covers 26 municipalities.
    This sub-zone , Baja montañacovers 22 municipalities and is located in the northeast of the DO, on the middle reaches of the river Aragón.

    The Ribera Baja sub-zone is in the south of Navarre and is the most important of the five in terms of area and number of wineries. It covers 14 different municipalities, all on a dry, sandy plain on the right bank of the river Ebro.

    The climate in Navarra is continental (long, hot, dry summers and cold winters). The northern sub-zones have a dry continental climate with Atlantic influences and with only moderate heat during the period when the grapes are ripening, as the nights start to get cooler during the month of August.

    Average rainfall in the DO is 625 mm per year. In the areas at higher altitudes, there is the occasional risk of frost and of violent storms.

    Red variety vines, for production of reds and rosados, represent 95% of the all vines planted in the DO, though this percentage is decreasing as more white varieties are planted. The traditional Garnacha represents 32%, Tempranillo 36%, Cabernet Sauvignon 13%,Merlot 11% with Graciano and Mazuelo making up the remaining percentage. The main white varieties are Viura, Chardonnay and Garnacha blanca.

    Most vines are trained along trellises (en espaldera) to maximize exposure to the sunlight and to facilitate mechanization, as opposed to being planted as low bushes (en vaso). Planting density is over 2,400 vines/ha. Yield in all five sub-zones is below the authorized maximum of 8,000 kh/ha, and vary between 6,200 kg/ha in Valdizarbe and 7,800 kg/ha in the south.

    The only authorized white variety is Viura, but Chardonnay, Garnacha blanca, Malvasia and Moscatel de Gano Menudo are also permitted.

    The authorized red varieties are Graciano, Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon but Garnacha, Merlot and Mazuelo are also permitted.
  • O.D. Catalunya
    Catalunya is a Spanish Denominación de Origen (DO) (Denominació d'Origen in Catalan) for wines which was formally recognised in 1999. It was created with the specific purpose of providing commercial support to over 200 wineries (bodegas) that produced quality wine but which were not included in other specific DO’s in Catalonia.

    It does not have a specific geographical location but is formed by over 40 km² of individual vineyards which are dispersed all over Catalonia.
  • D.O. Conca de Barberà
  • D.O. Ribeira Sacra
  • D.O. Valdeorras
  • D.O. Alella
  • D.O. Bierzo
  • D.O. Empordà
  • Sin D.O. Garraf
  • do somontano
  • DO Alicante