The largest wine encyclopedia in the world

23.054 Keywords • 48.241 Synonyms • 5.303 Translations • 28.360 Pronunciations • 154.988 Cross-references

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Spagna (I)
España (ES)
Espagne (F)
Spain (GB)
Espanha (PO)
Spanje (N)

Winegrowing in Spain has an ancient tradition, since 3000 years BC. Chr vines n cultivated. The Phoenicians founded around 1100 BC The city of Gadir (Cádiz) and brisk trade in wine in the Mediterranean region. The first heyday was 200 BC. BC, because the Romans loved the wine from Baetica (Andalusia). The development was stopped by the invasion of the Moors in 711. For religious reasons, the Muslims cleared large parts of the vineyards or only allowed the production of raisins, You brought the art of distillation with what was not used for alcoholic beverages, but for essential oils, as fragrances and fragrances. It was only after 700 years that the Christians were recaptured and with the advance southwards they planted new vineyards. As in many other countries, it was mostly Catholic monastic orders that used to prepare vines near their monasteries altar wine planted. In the following centuries, viticulture developed into an important economic and export branch. From the beginning of the 16th century, the conquistadors brought huge amounts of wine to newly discovered America. The Spaniards planted European vines there in many areas and thus initiated viticulture on this continent, especially in Central and Eastern Europe South America, They made an important contribution in many countries of the world New world,

It fell in the second half of the 19th century phylloxera also in Spain and destroyed most of the vineyards. But Rioja was spared for the time being and when the pest reached this area in the early 20th century, most of the vineyards were planted with grafted vines. The French could no longer meet the demand for wine in their own country due to the vineyards destroyed by phylloxera. First French traders bought large quantities of wine in Spain, later many French winegrowers emigrated to Spain and practiced viticulture. Its sophisticated cellar technology has had a lasting impact on viticulture to this day.

There was political unrest in the early 1930s. These ended in the Spanish Civil War and ended in 1939 with the victory of the Nationalists under General Franco. During this time, vineyards and many wineries were largely destroyed. After opening the borders and joining the European Union in 1986 there was a new beginning in Spanish winegrowing. From the 1960s, a great boom began with the typical Spanish wines Rioja and sherry, Today Spain is one of the most dynamic wine countries in the world. In 2012, the vineyard area covered 1.017 million hectares, of which 31.1 million hectoliters of wine were produced. This puts Spain in the top spot worldwide and knights with it Italy and France constantly for the first place (see also under Wine production volumes ).

Soil & climate

Spain is one of the most mountainous countries in Europe. The western mountain ranges are largely composed of metamorphic and crystalline rock. The most common slate is the mother rock of the country's best vineyards. This is particularly evident on the Catalan coast, in the Priorato highlands, in the Rioja area and in the Douro port wine region. In large areas of the lowlands in the north and east, the bedrock consists of sediments. Light, sometimes sandy soils dominate in the coastal regions. In the sherry area Jerez you can find the heavily calcareous Albarizaboden in front. The Canary Islands, however, are of volcanic origin. The country is crossed by some large river veins, the water deliver for the vineyards and like everyone waters have a positive impact on viticulture. These are mainly Ebro and Duero in the north, the Tajo (Tagus) in the west, the Guadiana in the south and Júcar and Turia in the east.

Spain is divided into three large climate zones. In the so-called "green Spain" in the north Aragon Asturias Basque country. Galicia. Cantabria. Catalonia. Navarra and La Rioja there is a high rainfall with hot summers and cold winters. In the center is the extensive central plateau Meseta (Tafelland) with the regions Extremadura and La Mancha, It is characterized by extremely hot summers, very cold winters and low rainfall. The third zone is the coastline with the southern one Catalonia, the Levant and Andalusia, Here sea breezes alleviate the hot summers, but there is also little rain.

Regions & growing areas

A new classification system with a controlled designation of origin was introduced in 1970, based on the Italian and French wine law oriented. To date, around half of the vineyards have DO status. Around 70% of Spanish production is simple consumption wines, The name of the DO (for example Alicante, Ribera del Guadiana or Tarragona) is above the quality label "Denominación de Origen", only for sparkling wine Cava and at sherry there is an exception where the names speak for themselves, so to speak. The regions with their areas classified as DO, DOCa or Vino de Pago:



Balearic Islands with 2,200 ha

Basque country



Canary Islands with 9,000 ha

  • Abona
  • El Hierro
  • Gran Canaria
  • La Gomera
  • Lanzarote
  • La Palma
  • Monte Lentiscal
  • Tacoronte-Acentejo
  • Valle de Güìmar
  • Valle da la Orotava
  • Ycoden-Daute-Isora


  • Costa de Cantabria (IPR)
  • Líebana (IPR)

Castile and Leon


La Mancha with 200,000 ha


Navarra with 17,300 ha

Rioja (DOCa, 3 sub-areas) with 62,000 ha

Vinos de Madrid (3 sub-DO's) with 11,800 ha


There are over 600 grape varieties, the majority of which are autochthonous Varieties that are often only used locally in small quantities. The Blend 2010 (Statistics Kym Anderson ):



Synonyms or Spanish name


Airén White Burra Blanca, Colgadera 252364
Tempranillo red Cencibel, Chinchillana, Tinto del País 207677
Bobal red Moravio, Tinta Madrid 80120
Garnacha Tinta red Grenache Noir, Cannonau 70,140
Monastrell red Mataro, Mourvèdre 58406
Cayetana Blanca White Jaén Blanco, Pardina 39593
Macabeo White Viura 38417
Cabernet Sauvignon red - 23237
Syrah red Shiraz 20,000
Alicante Henri Bouschet red Garnacha Tintorera 19551
Palomino White Palomino Fino, Listán Blanco 18836
Verdejo White Albillo de Nava 16578
Merlot red - 15540
Pedro Ximénez White Pedro Ximenes, Pero Ximén, PX 9036
Parellada White Montañesa, Montona, Perrelada 8847
Xarello White Pansal, Premsal, Xarel • Lo 8393
Muscat d'Alexandrie White Moscatel de Alejandria, Moscatel Gordo 8237
Mencia red Jaén du Dão, Loureiro Tinto 8204
Tinto Velasco red Tinto de la Pámpana Blanca 7829
Chardonnay White - 6958
Chelva White Chelva de Cebreros, Mantúo, Uva Rey 6168
mazuelo red Cariñena, Samsó, Carignan 4749
Prieto Picudo red Prieto Picudo Tinto 4587
Pardillo White Blanca Pequene, Marisancho, Pardilla 4364
Zalema White Del Pipajo, Perruna, Zalemo 4097
Sauvignon Blanc White - 4011
Merseguera White Esquitxagos, Marisancho 3946
Alvarinho White Albariño 3507
Beba White Beba de los Santos, Blanca de Mesa 3036
Listán Negro red Almuñeco, Listán Morado, Negra Común 2666
Carignan Blanc White Cariñena Blanca, Carinyena Blanca, Samsó Blanco 2650
Marufo red Brujidera, Crujideiro, Moravia Dulce 2571
Graciano red Monastrell Menudo, Moristell, Tintilla de Rota 2281
Garnacha Blanca White Grenache Blanc 2263
Verdoncho White - 2124
Rojal Tinta red Rojal 1801
alarije White Aceria, Alarije Verdoso, Arin 1726
Petit Verdot red - 1661
Juan Garcia red Malvasía Negra, Mouratón, Négron de Aldán 1572
perruno White Casta de Montúo, Firmissima, Getibi 1509
Planta Nova White Tortozón 1366
Trepat red Bonicaire, Carlina, Trepat Negre 1358
Albillo Mayor White Albilla, Pardina, Turruntes 1312

Wine categories / quality levels

The central organ for all quality wines is the INDO (Instituto Nacional de Denominaciónes de Origen), with each DO area having its own supervisory authority, the "Consejo Regulador". Employees of the Ministry of Agriculture, winemakers, producers, traders and biochemists sit in this. With the “Reglamento”, this authority defines the approved ones varieties (and also decides on new plantings) that allowed documents, the earnings in hectoliters per hectare, the Bestockungs density, the pruning and the winemaking Methods ( mature technology. alcohol content. residual sugar. Dry extract values ). Only after organoleptic The wine will be examined by a committee of the Consejo label Approved. In August 2009, the EU wine market regulations came into force for all member countries with fundamental changes in wine names and quality levels; the new names are (see also in detail under quality system ):

  • Vino (formerly Vino de Mesa or table wine ) = Wine
  • IGP (formerly VdlT) country wine
  • DOP = or the alternative possible old names DO, DOCa, VCIG, VdP = quality wine

IGP (Indicación Geográfica Protegida) : There are 41 IGP areas.

DOP (Denominación de Origen Protegida) : There are five different categories of quality wines within the DOP label, which can be used as traditional labels:

VCIG (Vino de Calidad con Indicación Geográfica) : These are quality wines with geographical origin with regional characteristics with regard to grape varieties and winemaking (in the past this was, so to speak, a stage between country wine and quality wine or a preliminary stage). There are seven such areas.

DO (Denominación de Origen) : There are 67 DO areas

DOCa (Denominación de Origen Calificada) : This level was introduced in 1988 (and roughly corresponds to the DOCG in Italy). It is only awarded to wines from outstanding areas, the production of which is monitored with particular care. Only two areas have been classified so far, namely Rioja in 1991 and Priorato in 2001. The next candidate is Ribera del Duero called.

Vino de Pago (DO) or Vino de Pago Calificado (DOCa): This term was introduced in 2003 for vineyards and vineyards with a special character. They can be within a DO or DOCa area, but also outside of it. Most of them are owned by a single winery. A detailed description and a complete list of the 17 classified areas is available at Vino de Pago contain.

Quality Designations

In addition, there are a variety of traditional names related to winemaking and quality. The main ones are:

Maturity level : Traditionally, Spanish wines are only made with maturity marketed. Depending on the type of wine, there are guidelines for the maturation period in barrel and / or bottle. These deadlines are often far exceeded by top producers. The white and rosé wines only have to mature in the barrel for six months and can be sold one year earlier; There are hardly any reservas or gran reservas. The red wines have the following names:

Joven : Young wine that is sold the year after the grape harvest and is only aged briefly (maximum six months) or not at all in the barrel. These are intended for immediate consumption.

Crianza : These wines have to be aged for at least 24 months, of which six months in barrel and 18 months in bottle.

Reserva : These wines have to be aged for at least 36 months, at least 12 months in the barrel and the rest in the bottle. Reserved for DO and DOCa wines.

Gran Reserva : These wines have to be aged for at least 60 months, of which at least 18 months (until 2005 there were 24) in the barrel and dRest in the bottle. Reserved for DO and DOCa wines.

Aging classification : Regardless of the provisions for Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva, there are terms that may be used depending on the aging and type of expansion. These are Añejo (24 months), Noble (18 months) and Viejo (36 months). These are not without controversy, since they attest that a wine has a "better quality" a priori.

label : Among other things, the candy levels are included depending on the content residual sugar (seco = dry, semiseco = semi-dry, abocado = semi-sweet, dulce = sweet) and the type of wine (Clarete = light red wine, Cava = Sparkling wine, Tinto = dark wine, Rosado = rosé wine, Generoso = dessert wine).

World's largest wine knowledge database, made with by our author Norbert Tischelmayer.

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