Although Spain has more acreage under vine than any other country in Europe, it is not the largest producer of vine as many people believe it to be. Although Spain has a favourable climate, vines are one of the only plants that can successfully grow in the rough dry terrain of the south. Poor quaffing wine is consumed by locals that don’t have the equipment to beat the climate in the long summer months. Spain’s biggest red success is the Tempranillo grape. This produces some excellent wines, most notably in the Rioja and Navarra regions in the fertile foothills of the Pyrenees in the north east of the country.
The Spanish wine industry has undergone something of a transformation in the last ten years. They have been replanting unknown local grape varieties with well known grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon.
The introduction of new technology and modern techniques such as temperate controlled fermentation has enabled Spain to finally reach its potential as one of the New World’s finest red producers. Even the lesser known regions such as Catalunya, Aragon and La Mancha are now producing fruity, full-bodied reds.