Wine has been entrenched in Spanish culture for centuries on end and is today stitched into the fabric of the entire country. We believe that Spanish wine is some of the best value to quality in the world and it shows by the number of Spanish families we represent. From the mountainous Northwest, all the way to the Canary Islands and everything in between, we have found the best families, wines, and experiences imaginable.
Location: In the Valencia Autonomia of South Eastern Spain
History: The land of Alicante has been inhabited for over 7000 years, with wine being made since the Middle Ages. The first written records of wine being made in Alicante come about in 1238, but it takes as long as the 15th century for the wines to really take off and be well documented. They faced many challenges, including a ban of wine sales for almost 100 years during the 16th century, and ups and downs all the way until the early 1900’s. As most regions, the wines rise and fall with the political courts of their days. It took until the 1990’s for many new wineries to start hitting the scene and bring the wine into the position it is today: Making great wines for great prices in a historic region.
Year of D.O.: 1932
Grape(s) Specialization: White: Muscat of Alexandria Red: Monastrell
Notes: Although they specialize in Spanish varieties, a rise of international plantings has drawn attention as well. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Chardonnay, amongst others, are beginning to make noise. The regional favorites, though, will always speak to the heart of Alicante.
Location: In the North West corner of the Castilla y Leon Autonomia
History: The history of the region dates back to 29 B.C., and really started to expand during the Middle Ages, as Christianity started to use Monasteries to expand viticulture. Many castles built in these times are still standing, especially in the city of Villafranca, the heart of the Bierzo region. Many of the vines are as old as the early 1900’s, planted right after phylloxera devastated the region. Today, Bierzo is gaining momentum as one of the best wine-growing regions in Spain.
Notes: Mencía dominates plantings, so Bierzo can be considered a primarily red wine region. The Mencía grape is being treated like Pinot Noir in Burgundy, and as such, they have started to designate many single vineyard sites that show the Bierzo terroir the best, showing the nuances of the Mencía grape. All that said, Godello is gaining in popularity quickly, driving many producers to plant Godello in place of grapes like Mencía, to keep up with demand.
Location: The Canary Islands, off the South Western coast of Spain, near Morocco.
History: The islands were populated as early as 500 B.C., but after the fall of the Roman Empire, Europe forgot about the islands for over 1,000 years until the early 14th century. Not far behind was when wine making culture started, but it really takes off in the 16th century, as Tenerife was a trade partner with the United States. Despite the wine making tradition, until recent years wines of the islands haven’t been internationally prominent. The rise of terroir driven focus, small production, high quality production and people’s interest in trying new wines has grown the Canary Islands in popularity throughout the world.
Year of D.O.: 2010 – Tenerife (Ycoden-Daute-Isora, Valle de la Orotava, Valle de Guimar, Tacoronte-Acentejo, Abona)
Year of D.O.: 2010 – Lanzarote
Grape(s) Specialization: White: Malvasia, Albillo Criollo, Listan Blanco Red: Listan Negro, Bobosa Negro, Castellana Negra
Notes: The wines of the Canary Islands are as unique as you will ever find. The differing terroir from island to island and overall unique wines these ancient grapes produce, set them apart from any region of the world.
Location: The province of Avila, outside of Madrid in the Sierra de Gredos Mountains. All of this is inside of the Castilla y Leon Autonomia.
History: Although a newly registered DO, wine has been made here since the 11th century. History in this region is as prominent as any, tying in with the royal courts. Sadly, the Vinos de Madrid moniker being forced upon the wines for years created a stigma about the quality. The wines speak for themselves, though, showing the amazing old vine quality, in the unique terroir of the Sierre de Gredos Mountains, and producing high altitude, restrained versions of wines the likes we haven’t seen!
Year of D.O.: 2017
Grape(s) Specialization: White: Albillo Real Red: Garnacha
Notes: The Garnacha made here drinks closer to Pinot Noir than Garnacha from different regions of Spain. The extreme viticulture is one of the many ways to measure the passion that exudes from these winemakers in the region.
Location: The Andalucia Autonomia of Southern Spain
History: The Moorish conquests in 711 started to shape the region, which exudes all of which we think of Spain. Until the fall of the Moorish empire in 1492, nearby Granada was the Capital of Spain. This event and the discovery of the Americas sparked Sherry production, to help compete with Port, Madeira, and the wines of the Canary Islands, which were popular exports to the Americas and to England. The city of Jerez de la Frontera is the heart of Sherry production, and has been since the beginning. Jerez, coupled with Sanlucar de Barrameda and El Puerto de Santa Maria form the “Golden Triangle” of Sherry, are focusing on a return to quality and growing the Sherry brand in and of itself as big as it has ever been.
Year of D.O.: 1933
Grape(s) Specialization: Palomino Fino, Palomino de Jerez & Pedro Ximinez.
Notes: Sherry is one of the only wines that can be served throughout the entirety of a meal. With the ranging styles, the people of Jerez make it a point to drink Sherry at every stage of their meals, and we should too! The versatility is only matched by that of Champagne, and even that has a hard time keeping up.
Location: The Navarra Autonomia, in North Central Spain
History: Although wine has been made here since the Romans rules, the creation of the first monasteries in the 9th and 10th centuries, as well as the beginning of the Camino de Santiago, the first things to spark the progression of vineyards. Among the many influences to shape the winemaking styles of the area, Phylloxera and the vineyard replantings (1856) and the French winemaking styles impacted Navarra the most. Between the historical sites, consistent quality of wines, and overall landscape, Navarra itself is about as undervalued in the international market as it gets, as Rioja steals a lot of its spotlight. That being said, the value to quality coming from Navarra is unmatched.
Location: In the Castilla y Leon Autonomia of Central Spain
History: The regions flagship estate was founded in 1864 by Don Eloy Lecanda y Chaves (Vega Sicilia). Domingo Txomin, winemaker at Vega Sicilia, brought international prominence to the region in 1917 and 1918 at the Barcelona World’s Fair. The rest is history, and the region is now home to almost 300 producers.
Year of D.O.: 1982
White: Not allowed Red: Tempranillo
Notes: Ribera del Duero surrounds the towns of Aranda de Duero and Penafiel in the Duero River Valley and is one of Spain’s top red wine producing regions. If you see wine labeled as Tinto de Pais here, it is just another name for Tempranillo. The wines of this region are typically higher in alcohol than their Rioja counterparts, leading to a bigger, more brooding style of wine in comparison.
Location: In the Autonomia of Galicia, in the North West of Spain.
History: The Romans chiseled grape vines into the extreme slopes of land off of the Mino and Sil rivers thousands of years ago. A total of less than 100 wine brands, with a minuscule amount of production even leaving the region, makes Ribeira Sacra sought after for both wine quality and wine scarcity. The D.O. itself being new, mixed with the history of the Roman wine making, shapes the region, as most wineries have found a way to merge historical aspects with futuristic designs. One cannot help but feel the soul of thousands of years of winemaking history, while looking out over the vineyards. Somehow, the wines give off the same feeling.
Notes: Heroic Viticulture defines the region, as the slopes the grapes are planted on are close to 60 degrees in grade. The local style of wine produces a light, fruity version of Mencía, much lighter than that of Bierzo.
Location: The Autonomia of Catalonia, in the North Eastern part of Spain.
History: The first traditional method sparkling wine was made in Spain in 1872 by Jose Raventos of Cordorniu, in the city of San Sadurni d’Anoia. What started as a carbon copy of Champagne is now the largest producer of sparkling wine in the world. Cava producers have also spear headed different movements that even the Champenoise have found themselves copying: The gyropallet, which can riddle 504 bottles at one time, and the way in which their dosage levels are used, which lead to international refinement in the matter. Cava, still gaining in popularity, is known international for amazing value sparkling wine, but needs to be taken more seriously in the ultra-premium market, as extravagant wines at all prices are being produced.
Location: In the La Rioja Autonomia of North Central Spain
History: A viable wine producing region for over 2,000 years, Rioja is the premier wine growing region in Spain. In the 13th century, Benedectine clergyman Gonzalo de Berceo wrote about the virtues of Riojan wine, and it has not slowed down since. He himself was the first person to put the Spanish language on paper in the early 12th century. French winemaking influence took over the region in the 19th century and shaped the future of the wines as we know it. Although aging in American Oak is classic, many of today’s producers are using French Oak or a mix of both. Never the less, Rioja stands as one of the top red wine making regions in the world, blending perfectly the history of the region with the progression of the times.
Notes: Haro, the capital of the Rioja region, is where the heart beat lies. The city of Haro blends together like that of a traditional Rioja red: The perfect mix of a smaller town feel with a big-time production aspect.
Location: In the Valencia Autonomia, in the South East of Spain
History: Cultivating grapes as early as 700 B.C, it took until the 19th century for production to expand enough to be relevant. Around the time all the other regions were having Phylloxera issues, the principal grape of the region, Bobal, was standing strong due to its resistance to the vine louse. The first year a winery bottled wines locally was 1971 and off they went. The region is becoming as known for its unique Bobal variety, as it is for its international varieties, making for a great mix of history and progression. Red wine dominates, as white wines only represent approximately 6% of the vineyard land.