Rioja, cava and sherry: what makes Spanish wines unique?

Rioja, cava and sherry: what makes Spanish wines unique?

Rioja, cava and sherry: what makes Spanish wines unique?

This land has been covered with vines for centuries, and today Spain is one of the world's leading wine producers. Together with you, we will learn more about the traditions and history of Spanish winemaking. In this episode of “Growth Zones” we will visit the main wine-growing regions of Spain: Rioja, Penedès in Catalonia and Jerez in Andalusia.

Elegant Rioja We arrived at one of the oldest wineries in the Rioja region. Harvest time is approaching, so we will check the ripeness of the grapes together with the chief winemaker. After the grapes are harvested, squeezed and infused, the resulting wine will be stored for years in oak barrels.

The fruits are already reddish in color, but the seeds are still green, a little brown … Three conditions are important here: a special area protected by the Sierra Cantabria, the Ebro River that flows in Rioja and very poor soil saturated with limestone – all this gives a great versatility grapes such as Tempranillo, typical of Rioja. The local wines are unique for their elegance, complexity, freshness and long aging

Julio Saenz Technical Director of La Rioja Alta

Rioja grapes Euronews

From fortified wines to cava We now head to the Penedès area of Catalonia, where we will meet another famous Spanish wine: cava.

San Sadurni d'Anoia is considered the “capital of cava” with more than 80 producers. We will visit Freixenet, one of the world's largest producers of sparkling wines, which is still a family business. Cava is often made from a mixture of local grape varieties: Macabeo, Parellada and Charllo.

The company was founded by my great-grandfather, grandfather and great-grandmother. In the 19th century, we produced fortified wine. Then came the grape phylloxera, it destroyed most of the vineyards throughout Europe. We changed our business in this region, moved from fortified wines to sparkling wines made in a traditional way. It is important that the second fermentation takes place in the cellars, because there is a cool temperature throughout the year.

Pedro Ferrer Vice President Freixenet Group

The former Freixenet winery Euronews

Unique Jerez Now we move further south to talk about a type of wine that is radically different from the previous two, but also famous.

Jerez is one of the oldest wines in the world. We are located in Jerez de la Frontera, in the so-called “Jerez Triangle”. What is unique about this place is the soil: it is chalky, very dry, but deep underground it can hold a lot of water, and it is because of this that vines grow here.

Antonio Flores is the master blender at González Byass, which owns the iconic brand Tio Pepe.

Heres is different, it is unique. Every vine in the world has its own terroir: land, origin. Sherry has two of them: its own land, its own albaris soil, whitish, which gives life, individuality, and the second terroir – a winery with its own microclimate, due to geographical location, temperature and humidity.

Antonio Flores Master Blender at González Byass

Sherry is a fortified wine, which means that distilled alcohol is added to it. There are several types, from dry and pale to sweet and dark.

Jerez is brewed in cellars in a unique microclimate Euronews

It was an epic journey through the history of Spain through the variety of its wines. Don't miss our next edition of the Growth Zone.

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