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Extremadura

One of the 17 autonomous regions of Spain, which is one of the oldest wine regions in the world. Shortly before the turn of the century, the Romans settled on the banks of the River Guadiana and founded the city of Emerita Augusta, today's Mérida. Among them, there was a first major flowering in viticulture. In the 13th century, the area was a hotly contested buffer zone between Christian and Moorish Spain. Under Moorish influence, viticulture declined, but reached a climax again in the 17th century. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries it was predominantly emigrants from Extremadura who conquered Central and South America as Conquistadores, especially Hernán Cortés (1485-1547), Francisco Pizarro (1476-1541) and Hernando de Soto (1500-1542) , The captured wealth flowed back to a large extent in the home.

Extremadura - pigs in oak forests and vineyards

In the extremely fertile region there is sheep farming, olive growing and viticulture. Many local specialties bear the title of a protected designation of origin (DO). These are the famous "Jamón Ibérico", the ham of the black Iberian pig that lives freely in the oak forests and feeds on acorns, cheeses such as "Ibores" made from goat's milk, "Torta del Casar" and "Queso de la Serena "from sheep's milk, as well as olive oil and smoked paprika. The dehesas (cork oak forests) cover about a million hectares of a quarter of the total area of the region and supply the bark for the production of cork,

The Extremadura lies between the Portuguese region Alentejo in the west and the spanish region La Mancha in the East. She may not be with the Portuguese region Estremadura be confused. The name means "land beyond the Duero" or, according to another version, "extremely hard" (just extreme). In the south closes Andalusia and in the north Castile and Leon on. La Mancha and Extremadura are part of the huge plateau landscape Meseta, The region is divided in half by the mountain ranges of the Sierra de Guadalupe and the Sierra de San Pedro. The Extremadura Alta in the north is largely identical to the province of Cáceres. The southern and somewhat fertile part of Extremadura Baja around the course of the Guadiana River roughly corresponds to the province of Badajoz. The climate is characterized by hot, dry summers and mild winters.

The vineyards cover a total of 87,000 hectares. The most important red wines are Tempranillo. Garnacha Tinta. Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, the most important white wines PardilloCayetana Blanca, Viura ( Macabeo ) and Eva ( Beba ). The first DO classified in 1999 and the only one so far Ribera del Guadiana covers over 27,000 hectares. It extends for the most part in the south of the region, ie in the Extremadura Baja. The regional country wine area is called VT Extremadura. Much of the wine produced here (not as DO or VT) is used for distillation. The production is of some big ones Winzergenossenschaften (Sociedades Cooperativas), whose members operate both wine and olive growing, as well as huge fincas (agricultural goods) with several hundred acres of land.

Pigs: Picture of Anne & Saturnino Miranda on Pixabay
Vineyard: © DO
Ribera del Guadiana

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