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Wine Regions of Spain

All the world’s greatest wine regions share one aspect in common: they are married to a grape or grapes that ripen slowly and exhibit differentiated and sometimes fascinating flavors in differing microclimates within that region.

We’re not sure why slow ripening makes for so many of the world’s great wines, but it does. Hot climates rarely accomplish such slow ripening, so Spain should be incapable of making great wine, right? Well, the popular view of Spain as an arid and hot place is not mistaken, just incomplete. It might be hot in many of Spain’s vineyards, but not for very long. The temperature at night often plummets, and the daylight can be slow to warm the vines.

Elevation is the explanation. Spain is an elevated plateau; little of Spain is at sea level, and while some of the vineyards are as flat as Kansas, many are nearly 3,000 feet above sea level. Many great vineyards are nestled into the creases of mountains. In the Sierra Nevada, along the southern coast, mountains such as Pico Mulhacén jolt up out of the Mediterranean Sea and reach a height of over 10,000 feet less than 30 miles from the shore.

Each of the Spanish wine regions can be defined in its elevation and in its proximity to the ocean or the sea. Some wine authorities prefer to break Spain’s geography into its autonomous regions, but that’s less likely to lead to a more thorough understanding of the places, vineyards, grapes, and styles of the wines of Spain. Rather, the country can be broken into the following climatic categories:
Green Spain

The northern and northwestern portion of Spain, exposed to the northern Atlantic, can be cool to cold, wet, and green—thus its name, España Verde. The sheltering fortification of the Cordillera Cantábrica, looming above Rioja, is unavailable to much of Green Spain as it stretches from Galicia to the Pyrenees. The regions of Ribeiro, Ribera Sacra, Valdeorras, and Bierzo enjoy pockets of protection from the cool, sometimes cold, and often wet coastal influences; Rías Baixas, unfortunately, bears the full force of Atlantic weather. Western Green Spain regions tend to produce high–acid white wines from tart, relatively unripe grapes, while sites in the Pyrenees generate shockingly bracing white wines under the rubric of Txakoli.
North Central Spain

The seat of power for much of Spain’s history, this area hosts extremely elevated but easily workable vineyards along and beyond the banks of the Duero River. Some of the famed wine names in Spain reside in Ribera del Duero, such as Vega Sicilia and Pesquera, and regions such as Toro and Rueda are on the shortlists of anyone pursuing emerging Spanish brands.

Ebro River Valley

The Sierra de Cantábria mountains shelter some of Spain’s most important vineyards, including those in Rioja and Navarra. Farther south, Calatayud, Campo de Borja, and Cariñena offer great value. To the east, vineyards nestled along the base of the foothills of the Pyrenees hold vineyards as well, where tributaries of the River Ebro nurture the vineyards of DO Somontano and the rare Moristel grape that charms many tasters with its tangy fruit and easy ways, along with more muscular Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and other red varieties.

The Meseta

The “tabletop” that represents the center of the elevated plateau that is Spain is not a uniformly flat, hot, and arid place. Instead, there are significant mountainous spots that offer the possibility of making high–quality wines, based upon strong differences between daytime and nighttime temperatures (grapes seem to like diurnal temperature swings). The northern piece of the Meseta lies in Castilla y León. The southern portion of the Meseta, Castilla–La Mancha, is producing striking wines based upon dramatic diurnal temperature swings, and even more importantly, remarkably old and healthy vineyards.

The Mediterranean Coast

The warmth of the coast from the French border to Almería can be mitigated by high altitudes, whether in Cataluña or in Valencia. Throughout most of this area, world–class wines are appearing in places such as Priorat and Montsant, as well as established areas such as Penedés. Cava, the most famous sparkling wine in the world after Champagne, makes its home near Barcelona.
Andalucía

With temperatures easily surpassing 100°F in the summer, this is an area ideal for fortified and dessert wines. Everything conspires to make a singularly successful fortified wine that comes in a plurality of styles. Although we call all of them Sherry, each of these styles—Manzanilla, Fino, Amontillado, Palo Cortado, Oloroso, and Pedro Ximénez—expresses a unique set of aromas and flavors.

With the Canaries off in the Atlantic and the Balearics lying in the middle of the Mediterranean, both groups of islands enjoy temperatures that are relatively moderate, especially in the sometimes remarkably elevated areas.

Make no mistake, these divisions defined above must make the Spanish crazy: a country barely held together for much of its existence doesn’t take kindly to this American gerrymandering. We hope the producers, growers, vintners, consejos reguladores, and bureaucrats who are responsible for these brilliant wines will forgive our tinkering. We think non–Spanish readers will be able to learn more by viewing Spain’s DOs through the prism of climate, geography, and morphology rather than through political divisions.

Andres Iniesta is slowly but surely pining for our sweetest of alcoholic spots, Kickettes. Not too long ago he first gave us an excuse to make like a martini as we watched him flaunt his sezzual side in a sharp, fashion editorial. Now, however, he’s really blown the roof off our recently renovated Kickette HQ with some wonderful, wine-tastic news.

Andres Iniesta in his Bodega

Mundo Deportivo

Last Sunday, the Barcelona and Spanish NT member gave a few privileged members of the media an inside look at his winery, the Bodega Iniesta. As a family run, 110 acre venture located in the ballers’ hometown of Fuentealbilla, it’s got enough barrels of vino to supply our children’s children with uni party booze. To-date, Iniesta’s winery has produced three types of wine: a light white called ‘Corazon Loco’, a deep red dubbed ‘Finca el Carril’ and a chardonnay named after his baby girl, Valeria.

Footie skills, cute babies, high fashion marks and adult beverages? Andres is a very talented man indeed!

The Wine Colours organizes public wine tours from Barcelona to Penedes wine region (45 minutes from Barcelona) on saturdays from September to November. Our mission is to offer the possibility to those individuals who love wine and gastronomy, to join a group of people with the same interests.

The Barcelona wine coach will pick up you at your hotel from 9:00 to 9:30am and will arrive at Cataluña Square by 5.00pm.

The Barcelona wine coach is limited to 6 guests to ensure a personalized service. A full experience that will activate all your senses for only 155€ per person all included (transportation, guide, 2 winery visits with wine tasting and gourmet lunch).

Available dates (Saturdays) :

September 10 and 17
October 8,15,22
Novembre 5, 12

See the complete itinerary

More information at info@thewinecolours.com

Hope you enjoy it!

Bodega Coca i Fitó, located in the town of El Masroig (Tarragona) is a venture which, despite its youth, has managed to release a range of wines on the market which makes the most of the wealth and tradition of the wine regions of Montsant and Terra Alta, their unique climates and the composition of their soils. With a work philosophy targeted at expressing the terroir, Coca i Fitó wines enjoy recognition from prestigious international publications such as US magazines The Wine Advocate and Wine Enthusiast and have been highlighted for their diversity, and ability to combine complexity and terroir with easy-to-understand and affordable wines. The driving force behind the venture are brothers, Toni and Miquel Coca, who, in 2006 after a long career in the wine industry, decided to launch this adventure with the aim of increasing awareness about the quality of the region’s vineyards. Toni Coca, the bodega’s technical director carried out his studies at the ‘Jaime Ciurana’ School of Oenology in Falset and at the University of Tarragona. Since 1986 he has worked as technical advisor to various bodegas under DOs Penedès, Montsant and Priorat, among others. In contrast, Miquel Coca trained in the gastronomy and hospitality sectors, before dedicating himself to the world of wine via top-of-the-range wine sales on international markets. Bodega Coca i Fitó’s recently inaugurated facilities are located in the town of El Masroig, in the province of Tarragona (Catalonia) under DO Montsant. Although the bodega boasts eight hectares of its own vineyards, ranging in age from 15 to 80 years, spread around the municipalities of the Falstet Valley: Marça, Capçanes, Guiamets, Pradell de la Teixeta, and La Serra d´Almos, the bodega’s commitment to expressing the region’s terroir obliges it to carry out a constant search and selection of the best vineyards in the area, and has even led it to make a white wine under DO Terra Alta. The region’s climate, with its scarce rainfall and extreme temperature differences between summer and winter, together with the predominantly granite and chalk soils, which are generally poor in organic material, give the region’s wines a characteristic minerality and concentration. In addition, Coca i Fitó carries out an exhaustive and independent selection and handling process at every wine estate in order to preserve the unique properties offered by the individual terroirs to the full. This special handling is also employed in the winemaking process, where the bodega is at pains to avoid altering the raw material as much as possible, so that the resulting wine is capable of expressing every single nuance of its origins.

Wines from Spain

by : wines from Spain

The event, driven by the Spanish Wine Federation, will be preceded by a declaration of commitment to the fight against climate change

On 10th June, the city of Barcelona is to host a congress driven by the Spanish Wine Federation (FEV), in collaboration with Alimentaria and the Vimac and Fivin Foundations, which aims to heighten awareness in the sector about the fight against climate change. Wineries for Climate Protection will look at the impact of global warming in the wine industry and will bring together numerous international wineries to talk about their experiences of protecting the environment and reducing CO2 emissions.

The congress will be presided over by former president of Chile and UN special envoy for climate change, Ricardo Lagos, and boasts the intervention of the chairman of the Spanish Wine Federation, Félix Solís, among others. Throughout the morning the theme of the congress will be focused around the experiences of international wineries in their fight against climate change, and will include the participation of international companies such as Moët et Chandon from France, and Fetzer Vineyards from the US, as well as various Spanish bodegas famous for their eco-friendly commitment: Vega Sicilia, Grupo Codoríu and Grupo Matarromera.

The forum’s afternoon session will focus on analysing the wine market tendencies of organic products and will listen to different points of view on the problem of climate change from important figures from the sector such as Miguel A. Torres, Ignacio Sánchez Chivite and Jose Luís Bonet. This last event, a round table, will be moderated by Spanish Master of Wine, Pancho Campo.

The day before the Wineries for Climate Protection congress takes place, the official signing of the ‘Declaración de Barcelona’ will be carried out; a declaration of intentions from the wineries and participants in the congress on their commitment to the flight against climate change.

Freixenet has launched a new mainstream Spanish wine brand aimed at attracting more women to the Spanish wine category. Mia is billed as being a “wine made for women by a woman” in what Freixenet’s UK head of marketing, Suzanne O’Hara is heralding as the “biggest still wine launch of the year”.

It is the personal project of Freixenet winemaker, Gloria Collell, and consists of a red and white wine with a retail price of £7.99. But it has been specifically made to appeal to the female Freixenet buyer and tap in to the crucial mainstream female wine buying public that is said to account for eight out of 10 bottles of wines purchased in the UK.

The specially created wine label, which includes a bright, attractive, Gaudi style design around the Mia name, is the first wine in the Freixenet stable to include the personal details of the winemaker.

“This is a very personal project for me. Hence the name ‘Mia’ which means ‘mine’ in Spanish,” Collell told Harper Wine & Spirit. “I also wanted to use real Spanish grape varieties and help educate women about Spanish wines.”

The red wine, Signature Blend No 1, comes from Tempranillo grapes from Castilla and the white, Signature Blend No 2, uses a blend of Cava grape varieties from Cataluyna.

The Freixenet name is also clearly prominent on the front of the label to reassure and attract female consumers familiar with Freixenet’s sparkling wines.

Mia will be made available to Freixenet’s export markets and will be under screwcap for the UK market.

O’Hara said Mia had been carefully researched to ensure it appealed to its key audience and a £1m marketing campaign will include above the line activity including major press campaigns in the key female consumer press.

The wine is been sold in to the trade from and its £7.99 retail tag is expected to go out with an attractive promotional offer to encourage initial purchase and trial.

Written by Richard Siddle
Harpers wine&Spirit

Critically acclaimed winery Bodega Numanthia, the emerging leader of Spanish iconic wines, is proud to announce that influential Spanish wine magazine Sobremesa named Bodega Numanthia’s 2008 Termanthia Tinta de Toro as top wine in their special anniversary edition celebrating the magazine’s 300th issue.

Established in 1984 by Spain’s most prestigious wine journalists, sommeliers and oenologists, Sobremesa which means ‘dessert’ in Spanish is one of Spain’s most important wine and gastronomy publications alongside Guia Penin.

For the special 300th edition, the editors of Sobremesa organized a blind tasting of Spain’s top wines, sherries and cavas for a panel of thirty-five judges — the majority being winemakers, to evaluate their wines against each other.  Wines in the tasting represented the most renowned wines of Spain such as Aro, Aurus, Cirsion, Clos Mogador, Dalmau, Pesquera Janus, Pesus, Pingus, Unico Vega Sicilia and Valduero.

Once the scores were tabulated, Bodega Numanthia 2008 Termanthia was unanimously recognized as the top red wine of the tasting, surpassing Unico Vega Sicilia and Pingus.

“A red wine which belongs with the best. It encapsulates great structure with an elegant complexity. The combination of fruit aromas (black fruits & ripe red fruits), menthol scents and a delicate hint of wood delivers a very seductive wine. In the mouth, it is intense with firm & silky tannins. It achieves the perfect balance, revealing final notes of balsamic & toasty aromas.”- Sobremesa, issue 300, 2011

Numanthia Termanthia 2008
Suggested Retail Price:  $200.00
Release Date: May 2011
Importer:  Moet Hennessy Estates & Wines
Website: “www.numanthia.com
About Bodega Numanthia

Founded in 1998, the Numanthia estate lies near the small village of Valdefinjas, in the province of Zamora. The name ‘Numanthia’ associates the towns of Numancia and Tiermes, known in ancient times for their resistance to Roman invaders. When attacked by the legions of Scipio in 134 BC, their inhabitants resisted heroically, preferring death to surrender. Numancia thus came to symbolize tenacity and resistance, which is also a feature of the Toro vineyards that survive the extreme local climatic conditions, not to mention Phylloxera attacks.

NEW YORK, April 18, 2011 /PRNewswire

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