With over one million acres of the country covered in vineyards, Spain devotes more of its land area to wine making than any place in the world.
There are 69 officially recognised wine regions in Spain. The mainstream areas are referred to as Denominaciones de Origen D.O, which are similar to France’s appellations, and the wine produced here is carefully regulated for quality according to specific laws.
With extremely varying climates, terroir and wine making traditions throughout the country, every wine region has something different to offer – from the warm red wines of Rioja to the sparkling Cava from Penedes.
Consequently, the Spain wine region map can appear overcrowded and confusing. To make planning a wine tour to the sun kissed land – that is the third largest producer of wine in the world – less daunting, we have divided our map of Spanish wine regions into seven distinct geographical areas:
This area of the Spanish wine regions map, which is also known as ‘Green Spain’ courtesy of the cool, misty climate that creates lush pastures and forests. Albarino is the dominate grape grown along the coast or the rivers of Rias Baixas (lower fjords), which produces a variety of crisp, aromatic white wines. Moving inland, away from the coast towards Bierzo and Ribiera Sacra, brings red grape varieties – with Mencia arguably the north west’s best.
Duero River Valley
The Duero River Valley is the birthplace to some of the country’s finest red wines, and home to Spain’s most renowned winery, Vega Sicilia. This region, which forms part of the border between Spain and Portugal is fuelled by Tempranillo – the most planted grape across the country – producing bold red wines from Toro, Ribera del Duero and Leon. The minerally white wine, Verdejo, is also grown in Rueda.
Ebro River Valley
This area envelopes the most recognisable appellation on any map of Spain wine regions, La Rioja, which has traditionally claimed the title of the country’s most prestigious wine producer. Tempranillo remains dominate here, but Grenache, Mazuelo and Graciano are generating new styles in the area. Although red varieties of different ages attract most attention, Navarra has a reputation for producing fine rosé.
Almost two thirds of the country’s wines are produced from this plateau – Mesata means ‘tabletop’ – settled in the centre of the Spanish wine region map. This dry, mountainous area and disparity in diurnal temperatures produces well valued reds from Grenache, Tempranillo and even the rare Petit Verdot – while the white variety Airen is the most planted grape here.
This warm, coastal area on the Spain wine map envelopes the sub-regions of Valencia, Murcia and Catalonia. The latter has the most internationally acclaimed reputation for quality wines, including world class reds from Priorat and Montsant. This is also Cava country with Penedes producing practically all of the country’s famed sparkling white and rose wine.
Located in the south west of the Spanish wine regions map, Andalusia is a notably hot and dry area that is famous for its variety of fortified and dessert wines, commonly known as Sherry. Despite the arid, spaghetti western landscape, Andalusia’s most famous winemaking region, Jerez, receives ample rainfall that is captured in limestone soils to provide cool moisture for vineyards.
Outside the perimeters of the mainland map of Spanish wine regions are the Canary and Balearic Islands, which offer a wide range of wines from Listan Negro-based reds to sweet dessert white wines using Moscatel.
At Wine Paths, our local experts can organise bespoke experiences of vineyards across the entire Spain wine regions map, featuring exclusive private tours, luxury stays and gastronomic delights.
Visit our Spain destination page for inspiration to open up the endless travel possibilities offered by the Iberian nation.
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Wine map: Winefolly.com
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