Spanish wine regions
With so many regions and sorts, the impressive Spanish wines map can feel overwhelming. We have create a simplified guide that features the main regions and grapes, while sharing some interesting facts and figures. The map does not show all 96 designations, but we have noted our personal selection of favorites. The selected regions are based on the highest quality, sustainable wine practices and human criteria.
THE WORLD'S VINEYARDS
Spain is literally the world’s vineyard. Spain contains the largest area under vine in the world (969 million hectares) but small yields make it the second or third in volume every year, behind France and Italy. And if you look at the map, the pale orange central area corresponds to Castilla La Mancha; only this small area accounts for 13,4% of the total world vineyard. You might be wondering which is the most widely planted grape in Spain; it is the white airén, followed by tempranillo, bobal, garnacha tinta, viura and monastrell. Outstanding figures, right?
A VAST CLASSIFICATION
The extensive wine country is also encompassing 96 production areas with Protection Designation of Origin – divided into V.P. (19 Vinos de Pago) D.O. (67 Denominations of Origen), D.O.Ca. (2 Qualified Denominations of Origen) and V.C. (8 Quality Wines). across a vast and complex geography that we will simplify.
Just to let you know, Spain is the second most mountainous country in Europe after Switzerland, Sierra Nevada is the highest sky resort in Europe reaching 3.300 meters (10,826 feet) above the sea level and there are deserts too. With such a biodiversity and climate contrasts, from hostile environments to fertile lands, Spain presents one of the most suitable territories for vine growing. Let’s take a look to the most remarkable denominations of origin classified geographically:
From West to East we traverse the mysterious Galicia region, then go across Asturias – the unexplored destination home to the oldest National Park in Spain Picos de Europa, and homeland of the widest range of cheeses in the world -, we continue to the lovely and intimate small Cantabria to finally reach the Basque Country. Finally we reach Navarra, a scenery that can go from the most fertile lands to the most inhospitable corners.
✧ D.O. Rías Baixas
✧ D.O. Valdeorras
✧ D.O. Ribeira Sacra
✧ D.O. O Ribeiro
✧ D.O. Monterrei
✧ D.O. Vinos de Cantabria
DUERO RIVER VALLEY
Over 460 miles the Duero river flows through Spain from East to West, and crosses the border with Portugal to end in the Atlantic ocean. The so called Duero River valley is a great world wine region, in fact it is homeland of Spain’s most famed winery, Vega Sicilia, icon of Ribera del Duero appellation.
✧ D.O. Ribera del Duero
✧ D.O. Rueda
✧ D.O. Arlanza
✧ D.O. Cigales
✧ D.O. Toro
✧ D.O. Arribes del Duero
✧ D.O. Bierzo
✧ D.O. Arlanza
EBRO RIVER VALLEY
This time the Ebro river goes from North to South, it is the second longest river in the Iberian peninsula after the Tagus. Around the Ebro the landscape varies from rich farmland to almost desert, to mountain ranges. The fertile Ebro river valley is planted with a panoply of vegetables and fruits – it is one of the main gardens for Spain -.
✧ D.O. Ca Rioja
✧ D.O. Txakolina
✧ D.O. Navarra
✧ D.O. Somontano
✧ D.O. Cariñena
✧ D.O. Campo de Borja
Central Spain corresponds to Castilla La Mancha region, it is a vast plateau; almost two-thirds of all Spain’s vineyards are on these arid plains, and 50% of the wine from Spain is produced in this region. And remember, it accounts for 13,4% of the total world vineyard. Too often known for its volume against its quality, that’s a mistake. Undoubtedly a personality plaid a key role, Mr. Carlos Falcó, an aristocrat, engineer and entrepreneur whose passion for wine was awakened in the 1960’s as he followed his studies in the University of California at Davis. He was pioneer and created in Toledo some of the best Spanish wines and even, a new appellation DO Vino de Pago (VP) to identify single vineyard wines. The first wine classified as Vino de Pago was Dominio de Valdepusa in 2003. It is nowadays a non-profit association that brings together 32 prestigious wineries from all over the national territory with a common goal: to produce excellent wines in harmony with the soil, nature and climate of each vineyard. Let’s see what central Spain has to offer.
✧ D.O. Méntrida
✧ D.O. Vinos de Madrid
✧ D.O. Uclés
✧ D.O. Manchuela
The vineyards in Mediterranean Spain, whether near of far from the coast, benefit from the warm winds of the Mediterranean, and can range from mild climate by the coastline like in Alella – facing the sea -, to more extreme when inland like in Priorat. These territories cover several “counties”, from North to South: Catalonia, Valencia, Alicante and Murcia.
✧ D.O. Penedés
✧ D.O. Cava
✧ D.O. Alella
✧ D.O. Empordà
✧ D.O. Conca de Barberà
✧ D.O. Plà de Bages
✧ D.O. Q. Priorat
✧ D.O. Montsant
✧ D.O. Terra Alta
✧ D.O. Costers del Segre
✧ D.O. Valencia
✧ D.O. Utiel-Requena
✧ D.O. Alicante
✧ D.O. Jumilla
✧ D.O. Yecla
The southern charms from Spain leave no-one unmoved. The scent of the Orient is everywhere, dazzling white towns, infinite beaches, hills and lakes, cheerful people, an imposing architecture and a unique lifestyle. Talking about wines, sherry is the big name but there are impressive groundbreaking projects.
✧ D.O. Jerez-Xérès-Sherry
✧ D.O. Montilla-Moriles
✧ D.O. Malaga
✧ D.O. Serranía de Ronda- Sierras de Málaga
✧ D.O. Vinos de Granada
BALEARIC ISLANDS (MEDITERRANEAN)
✧ D.O. Binissalem
✧ D.O. Pla i Llevant
✧ VdT. Isla de Menorca
✧ VdT. de Ibiza
CANARY ISLANDS (ATLANTIC)
✧ DO Lanzarote
✧ Wines from Tenerife
✧ Wines from other Canary Islands
You were truly instrumental in making our trip fantastic. Truthfully, I wish I were still there.
Many thanks and looking forward to something we can plan together again in the future. Abrazos,
Your restaurant choices were all very good as well.
As for the sherry and bodega visits, those were even more impressive. We had such a terrific time and the experiences were very personalized.
Thank you so much for arranging special tastings for us. It was absolutely incredible.
Everyone we met were so kind and welcoming. We are Sherry wine fans for life!!
We signed up and took a chance, and were rewarded greatly. The happy group is a testament to not only your planning and professionalism, but your kindness as well.
Hands down, best tour trip ever 🙂
So grateful for the opportunity to get to know all of you!
The trip was amazing in all aspects. We were really impressed with everything. The hotel choices were wonderful, the locations were perfect, the guides were terrific and very knowledgeable. Your restaurant choices were all very good as well.
As for the sherry and bodega visits, those were even more impressive. We had such a terrific time and the experiences were very personalized. Thank you so much for arranging special tastings for us. It was absolutely incredible. Everyone we met were so kind and welcoming. We are Sherry wine fans for life!!
I was so impressed with everything you arranged and your promptness and professionalism. Dillon had a wonderful time and was very complimentary.
Thank you for everything.
With gratitude, Star
Thank you so much for this helpful list! Gary and I are still talking about what a great time we had on the trip to Spain and how much we enjoyed meeting you, Fernando and Felix. You did an amazing job and we so appreciated seeing Spain's beautiful cities, historical treasures and of course the wonderful food, wine and people!
Gary and I wanted to thank you again for your continued care and concern as we spent three additional days in Madrid with the Millars. You and Fernando were so nice to make sure all went well and to see us off when we finally had to depart.
We are wishing you all the best and a wonderful holiday season ahead,
We had a winderful time particularly thanks to your superb arrangements. We will return! Arrivederci Marco
All the private excursions that she arranged were excellent. At some point during every tour our guide received a message from our agent checking in on how everything was going. We felt very well taken care of during our honeymoon and very thankful for all the assistance Valeska provided in making this dream vacation come true.