Spanish Wines


Historic bodegas with decades of history are common in Spain, 
but the country is also rife with ambitious young winemakers, all heading off to the hinterlands in search of ancient vines and exceptional terroirs.

Hidebound regional rules? No, thanks—let’s break them.

Land too rugged to be farmed? Well, maybe that’s exactly why it’s great.

Here are the future superstars to watch out for along with our guide to Canary Wines.




A Couple of Upcoming Superstar Wines

2015 Rafael Cambra El Bon Homme ($9) From his home in a tiny Valencian village, 
this young winemaker pursues a sustainable, noninterventionist approach. This tobaccoy blend of Cabernet and Monastrell comes from vines high in the Sierra de l’Ombria mountains.

2013 Botijo Rojo Garnacha V.V. ($18) A true garage wine (it’s actually made in a repurposed garage in the northeastern Valdejalón region), this fragrant, herbal red comes from ancient Garnacha vines farmed by the up-and-coming duo Fernando Mora and Mario López.


A Complete Guide To Wine From the Canary Islands

To get to the most extreme winemaking region in Spain, you’ll have to travel a bit farther south than the country’s mainland – just off the coast of southern Morocco, to be exact. It’s here that the volcanic archipelago of the Canary Islands, or Las Canarias, sprung up over the course of several million years and became home to some of Europe’s oldest vines.

Located at a latitude of about 28 degrees, it seems improbable that the hot and humid Canary Islands could possibly produce quality wines; the vast majority of quality winemaking regions, after all, lie between 30 and 50 degrees latitude. Combined with rugged terrain, the potential for volcanic activity, and extreme winds, these conditions don’t exactly add up to the most ideal winemaking environment. But they do create one of the most exciting wine regions to emerge on an international stage in the past 10 years.

So what’s the deal with these extreme island wines? Here’s the 101 on the grapes, the wine styles, and the islands themselves. With such a recent modern wine emergence, the wines are only going to get better from here – and you’ll already be an expert.


One of the assets that Canarian winemakers have is something that very few other regions can claim: extremely old vines. Because of the region’s isolation from the mainland, phylloxera never arrived in the Canary Islands, meaning that vines can quite literally be hundreds of years old – with hundreds of years of complexity.

Despite the hot climate, white grapes make up the majority of the Canary Islands’ wine production, both due to history and terroir. Like the island of Madeira, the Canary Islands were often a port for explorers sailing the world in the 1400s. At the time, Canarian winemakers favored the Malvasia grape, which was made into a sweet, syrupy wine very popular with foreign explorers and good for transport. Over time, however, sweet wines fell out of fashion, and modern tourism in the region provided a demand for dry, quaffable wines to be enjoyed beachside. Happily, the islands’ mineral-rich soil and mountain elevations lend themselves well to the production of dry, acid-driven whites.

Red and rosé wines are still made in the Canary Islands, with some islands focusing more on their production than others. Reds are often made in a fresh, easy-drinking style, vinified in stainless steel or using carbonic maceration, but some regions specialize in powerful, oak-aged versions as well. Despite lowered demand, the tradition of sweet winemaking is still alive, with some rich, fortified versions having considerable complexity and the ability to compete with the great sweet wines of the world.

Please read the full guide including:

The Difference Between the Islands Wines and Grape Varieties by clicking HERE




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