Spain is a very prolific winemaking country. The have over 2.9 million acres of land under vine. This is the largest amount in the world. However they are only the 3rd largest producer in volume, behind France and Italy. This is due to the very poor, mountainous soils found throughout most of the country. This forces vineyard yields lower as well as the vineyard spacing is wider. These lower yields are the primary reason why Spanish wines can be so great! Spain also has an abundance of native grape varietals such as Tempranillo, Garnacha, Albarino, Airen, Macabeo to name just a few. The northern regions such as Ribera del Duero and Rioja are well known for making Tempranillo while the Southern area specialize in wines similar to the Rhone like Garnacha, Shiraz, and Mouvedre. In the Northwest, near the Atlantic, wonderful crisp whites such as Albarino are produced. Also don’t forget the stunning Sherries and Sparkling wines called Cava. All in all, Spain has a long history and is currently making some awesome wines usually at a very good value. You shouldn’t overlook this stunning wine producing nation.
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