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Exploring Spain’s Wine Country: A Guide To The Best Vineyards And Wineries

Exploring Spain\'s Wine Country: A Guide to the Best Vineyards and Wineries Spain boasts some of the world’s finest wine regions, and those who have a taste for wine, the country is a paradise. Not only

Exploring Spain\’s Wine Country: A Guide to the Best Vineyards and Wineries
Spain boasts some of the world’s finest wine regions, and those who have a taste for wine, the country is a paradise. Not only known for sherry and Rioja, but Spain also specializes in a range of wines with varied flavors and styles. The country has 76 wine regions and an average wine production of 40 million hectoliters a year that brings in more than €2bn to the national economy of Spain. Spain\’s wine industry is the third-largest in world, following France and Italy. Here is a guide to Spain\’s best vineyards and wineries worth exploring:
1. Marqués de Riscal: Located in the northern region of Rioja, the Marqués de Riscal is a luxurious and modern winery designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry, producing some fantastic wines since 1858. They specialize in Tempranillo & Cabernet Sauvignon blends with the primary brands being Marqués de Riscal Gran Reserva and Marqués de Riscal Reserva.
2. Abadia Retuerta: Situated in Castilla y León in the Duero River Valley, Abadia Retuerta winery is a 12th-century abbey turned into a luxury hotel and vineyard. The winery is producing some unique red wines under three different varieties, including Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah.
3. Vega Sicilia: Located in the north of Spain\’s Ribera del Duero region, the Vega Sicilia winery is one of the most iconic wineries in the country. Established in the mid-19th century, the winery produces award-winning wines, including the renowned Vega Sicilia Unico – a unique blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, and Tempranillo, which is aged for almost 10 years.
4. Pago de los Capellanes: Another winery located in Ribera del Duero, the Pago de los Capellanes produces wines from sustainably grown grapes. They offer an assortment of wines, including signature wines such as Parcela el Nogal, and Prestigio.
5. Cava Codorniu: Located in the Penedès region of Catalonia, Cava Codorniu is the oldest and second-largest producer of cava in Spain. They specialize in the creation of sparkling wines and Cavas, with the brand Reina Mª Cristina being the signature wine.
6. Bodegas Abanico: Situated in Gredos, the Bodegas Abanico winery is famous for its contemporary white wines that are made from Sauvignon Blanc and Albillo grapes. The winery produces Finca El Rincón and Aguja del Fraile white wines.
7. Finca Moncloa: Situated in Andalucia, Finca Moncloa winery is known for its red wines produced using Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Tintilla de Rota grape varieties. The winery offers unique wine tastings and tours.
8. Emilio Lustau: Located in Jerez, Emilio Lustau is a sherry wine specialist. The winery offers an extensive range of sherry wines of diverse styles, ranging from dry and light to sweet and viscous. They also offer great brandy and vermouth.

Wine Regions that you must explore in Spain

1. Rioja: This region situated in the north of Spain consists of three sub-regions namely Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa, and Rioja Oriental. Rioja is known primarily for its red wines produced by Tempranillo grape, and the wines are classified under four labels: Crianza, Reserva, Gran Reserva, and Joven.
2. Priorat: The Priorat wine region is situated in the northeast of Spain just outside of Barcelona. Known for producing full-bodied red wines, Priorat specializes in the cultivation of Carignan and Grenache grape varieties.
3. Ribera del Duero: The Ribera del Duero region lies in the north-central part of Spain around the Duero River. Known primarily for its Tempranillo grape, Ribera del Duero produces some of the best red wines in Spain, with wines being classified under Cosecha, Crianza, Reserva, and Gran Reserva labels.
4. Penedès: Located in the south of Barcelona, the Penedès wine region is known for producing Spain\’s best champagne. The region also specializes in the production of white and red wines, with both dry and sweet varieties.

Wine Tasting Tips to make the best of your wine experience in Spain

Follow these tips to enhance your wine-tasting experience in Spain:
1. Swirl and sniff: Swirl your wine around in the glass to open it up and release its aromas. Take a sniff and try to detect the scents that are present – this will increase the flavor profile of the wine.
2. Cleanse your palate: Before tasting the next wine, clean your mouth with water and eat some plain crackers or unsalted bread. This will help to remove any residual flavors from the previous wine and restore your palate.
3. Take note of what you\’re tasting: Analyze the wine\’s color, aroma, and taste. Try to identify the flavors, acidity, and tannins present in the wine, and make a note of your impressions.
4. Don\’t forget to spit: You don\’t have to swallow every sip of wine you taste. It\’s perfectly acceptable to spit the wine out after tasting it, particularly if you\’re visiting several wineries in one day.
5. Keep an open mind: Try new wines and be open to new experiences. Even if you typically prefer red wines, you may find that you enjoy a dry white wine or a sparkling wine. Tasting a variety of different wines is part of the fun!

Wine Routes to explore in Spain

Follow these wine routes when exploring Spain\’s wine regions:
1. La Rioja Wine Route: This route will take you through the historic wine region of La Rioja. The route includes visits to numerous ancient wineries, charming towns, and vineyards.
2. Rias Baixas Route of Albariño: In the northwest of Spain, Rias Baixas is famous for producing Albariño white wines. This route offers a scenic drive through vineyards and fishing villages and includes tours of wineries along the way.
3. Montilla-Moriles Wine Route: The Montilla-Moriles region is located southwest of Cordoba and is known for producing sherry-like fortified wines. The route offers visitors tours of wineries, vineyards, and historic landmarks.
4. Cava Route: This route takes visitors through the Penedès wine region and offers a unique view of the Spanish countryside. The route includes several wine tastings and visits to local wineries and vineyards.
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