Spain proudly claims the title of the third largest wine producer in the world. It’s prized region, Ribera del Duero, was named Wine Region of the Year 2012 by the prestigious Wine Enthusiast Magazine.
Grapes were first cultivated in Spain between 4000 and 3000 BC. Under the Roman rule, Spanish wine was widely exported and traded. Spanish wine laws created the prestigious Denominación de Origen (DO) system in 1932 which was later revised in 1970.
Spain’s dry, infertile soil is key to its winegrowing success and fantastic array of native grape varieties, including the reds Tempranillo, Garnacha, and Monastrell; the whites Albariño from Galicia, Palomino, Airen, and Macabeo; and the three cava grapes Parellada, Xarel•lo, and Macabeo.
Spain’s Codorníu is the world's oldest and second-largest producer of bottle-fermented sparkling wine, known as cava, made using the traditional champagne method in Barcelona in 1551.
The legendary Vega Sicillia is the dominant wine producer of the region. Founded in 1864 by Don Eloy Lecanda y Chaves, who arrived from Bordeaux with precious cuttings of local grapes and planted them next to Spain's prized signature grape Tinto Fino in the dry Ribera soils. Today, Vega Sicilia's luxury wines are recognized worldwide as some of the finest and most valued red wines on the market. Alejandro Fernández’s Pesquera, composed entirely of Tempranillo grapes, has also earned international reputation. Other fine wine producers include Condado de Haza, Bodegas Mauro, Viña Pedrosa, and Bodegas Téofilo Reyes.
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