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 ).
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.
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...