Spain is on which peninsula?
What other country is on the Iberian Peninsula, and on what border of Spain is it?
Portugal, which is on Spain’s western border
What 2 large bodies of water bracket Spain?
- Atlantic Ocean = to the north and northwest
- Mediterranean Sea = to the east and southeast
Of any wine-producing country, Spain is known to have which of the following:
- the largest planted acreage
- the largest lakes
- the largest production
Largest planted acreage
What are the climates of Spain?
- Cool maritime along northern coast
- Arid and warm in center of country
- Humid and warm on southern tip
What is the landscape of Spain?
- Mountainous, especially in the north
- Raised plateau in the central interior called the Meseta
What is Spain’s best known red grape?
In Spain, wines WITHOUT geographical indication are called:
In Spain, wines WITH geographical indication are grouped into 3 overarching classifications with 3 levels nested within the second:
- IGP -> Vino de la Tierra (VdlT)
- DOP ->
- VCIG (Vinos de Calidad con Indicatión Geográfia)
- DO (Denominación de Origen; on par with French AOC)
- DOCa (Denominación de Origen Calificada)
- Vinos de Pagos
What are the only 2 wine regions in Spain with the DOCa classification?
Which was the first?
What is Vinos de Pagos?
Vinos de Pagos is a category reserved for prestigious single estates whose work exceeds basic DO requirements. These estates can only use their own grapes which must be grown, vinified and aged on their estate.
Estates which have earned the Vinos de Pagos classification lie within established DOs and they aren’t necessarily superior to DOCa.
Where is Rías Baixas DO in Spain?
What is it also known as?
What borders it to the south?
- Northwest corner of Spain
- aka “Green Spain” (it’s super rainy so everything is really green)
- Portugal lies to the south
What is the climate of Rías Baixas DO?
Maritime and fairly humid
Why is Rías Baixas DO so humid?
- Situated on the Atlantic coast
- Numerous rivers running through the region
What are the soils of Rías Baixas DO?
What is the white grape of Rías Baixas DO?
If a wine label from Rías Baixas DO has the grape Albariño written on it, what percentage of Albariño must be in the wine?
What type of vessels are most used in Rías Baixas DO?
Very few Albariños have new oak and they are few and far between; the grape isn’t well suited for the flavorings of new oak.
What style of wine is Albariño from Rías Baixas DO?:
- Lush, off-dry, neutral, heavily oaked
- Crisp, dry, aromatic, unoaked
Crisp, dry, aromatic, unoaked
What is the most important DOCa in north/central Spain?
What is the river that runs through Rioja?
The Ebro River
What are the 2 mountain ranges that protect Rioja DOCa?
- Pyrenées Mountains (they divide France and Spain in the northeast)
- Cantabrian Mountains (to the northwest)
What is the climate of Rioja DOCa?
The mountain ranges that protect Rioja DOCa act as a _____ _____ for the region.
What are Rioja DOCa’s 3 subregions?
- Rioja Alta
- Rioja Alavesa
- Rioja Oriental (formerly known as Rioja Baja)
What is the main white grape in Rioja?
What are the main red grapes in Rioja?
What are the 3 aging levels in Rioja DOCa?
- Gran Reserva
What type of oak is traditionally used to age Rioja DOCa?
What different type of oak is being used more of today?
- Traditional = American oak
- Modern = French oak
What are the aging requirements for Rioja Crianza?
Total of 2 years of aging prior to release, a mix of time of oak and aging in the bottle.
What are the aging requirements for Rioja Reserva?
Total of 3 years, 1 year of which must be in oak.
What are the aging requirements for Rioja Gran Reserva?
Total of at least 5 years, of which at least 2 years must be in oak and a minimum of 2 years in the bottle.
How often is Rioja Gran Reserva made?
It’s made only the best vintages, so around 4-5 times a decade.
Where is Ribera del Duero DO located in relation to Rioja?
Tempranillo is known as another name in Ribera del Duero. What is it called?
What styles of wine does Ribera del Duero make: white, red, rosé, or a combination of the three?
Mostly red and a little rosé, and in 2019 Ribera del Duero DO changed its regulations to include white wine styles.
What is the climate of Ribera del Duero?
Ribera del Duero has an extremely hot growing season. What about the region helps grapes retain acidity and slow their maturation?
Diurnal shifts (cold nights)
What is the elevation of Ribera del Duero?
How does it get that elevation?
- 2500 ft asl (above sea level)
- Ribera del Duero is situated on the Meseta, that high plateau in the center of Spain
What is the river that runs through Ribera del Duero?
The Duero River
This river runs into Portugal where it becomes known as the Douro River.
What are the 2 most important DOs in the Duero River Valley besides Ribera del Duero DO?
- Toro DO
- Rueda DO
Quick details on Toro DO:
- style of wine
- Continental climate, super hot summers
- Tempranillo only
- Full bodied, rich, powerful reds
What is the local name for Tempranillo in Toro DO?
Tinto de Toro
Quick details on Rueda DO:
- style of wine
- Verdejo + Sauvignon Blanc (both white grapes)
- Crisp, dry whites made in stainless steel
Catalonia is a region in the _____ corner of Spain.
What is the major city in Catalonia?
What are the major DOs of Catalonia?
- Penedès DO / Cava DO
- Priorat DOCa (DOQ in Catalan)
What are some geographical boundaries of Catalonia?
- Pyrenées Mountains to the north
- Mediterranean Sea to the east
What is the climate of Penedès DO / Cava DO?
What are the grapes of Penedès DO / Cava DO?
What style of wine is made in Penedès DO / Cava DO?
Sparkling wine made with Traditional Method
What is the climate of Priorat DOCa?
Long, hot summer with little rainfall
What are the soils of Priorat DOCa?
- Stony schist soils
- Llicorella, a special type of black slate + quartzite soil
What are the red grapes of Priorat DOCa?
The style of wine made in Priorat DOCa is:
- powerful, concentrated, dry reds
- light bodied, aromatic, off-dry whites
Powerful, concentrated, dry reds