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Spain

Introduction

  • Spain has more area under vine than any country in the world. It has a long and rich history of wine production and produces a diverse range of wines. As with other EU countries, there is a system of classifying all of the wines according to their region of origin, method of planting, grape growing, vinification and aging.

    Table wine is either Vino de Mesa ('table wine') or Vino de la Tierra (roughly similar to a vin de pays). Quality wine is divided into 60+ regions called Denominación de Origen or DO. Rioja and Priorat have adopted a higher level of classification (Denominación de Origen Calificada or DOC) that has stricter controls. These rules are formulated by the regulatory counsel or consejo regulador in each DO region.

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  • Spain recognizes several levels of aging:
    Vino Joven, sold with little or no aging in the year following the harvest
    Crianza, aged for two years, with at least six months in cask
    Reserva, aged three years with at least one of them in cask
    Gran Reserva, aged at least five years with at least two in cask

    In Rioja, Ribera del Duero and Navarra, Crianzas must be aged at least 12 months in cask.

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