Tag: Spain

Wine Region Overview: Spain

I recently posted a Spanish wine Q&A, which did, indeed, cover a lot of information about the country’s wine region. Alas, when writing such posts, there are always a few details that get left behind, and it is those few details that one must be ready for when studying for the WSET Level 3 exam. So, I’m going to do a full wine region overview here.

[Information based on WSET Level 3 material]


If you look at the map above, Spain can be divided into three climactic zones: 1) In the North (look at Rias Baixas and even Toro), the country is influenced by the Atlantic weather system—i.e., it has a moderate maritime climate. So vineyard risks here are all about the rainfall and associated issues. 2) To the East (move your eyes toward Priorat), the weather is a warm Mediterranean climate. Thus, there are less seasonal severities. Most vineyards are located where they can receive cooling influences from either the ocean or altitude. 3) In the very center, the Meseta Central is a large plateau that defines the center of Spain (take a look at La Mancha above). This plateau is cut off from any maritime influence by mountains. Thus, the climate here is hot continental and the largest issue is drought. Grape growers within the hot, arid center of Spain tend to utilize low-density bush-trained systems to capitalize on the water available and shading grapes from the heat-o-the-sun.


Pop Quiz(es): Spanish Wine

There is so much to know about Spanish wine—I’ve only now come to realize (and appreciate) the vast diversity of the grapes grown and the wine styles produced. That being said, this is definitely one country that I’m worried will stuff me up on my upcoming exam (one month away, by the way). So let’s take a look at some Q&A and see if we can’t unravel the intricacies of this Old World wine country…

[Answer(s) and information based on WSET Level 3 material]


Bodega Bernabeleva Camino de Navaherreros 2016 Garnacha

While I’ve found a few California producers who create extremely refined Grenache, I’m not a huge fan of the Spanish or South American garnacha. There’s something about the focus on rusticity that usually turns me off — harsh without a purpose, it seems. And yet, when you’re in the mood for some spice in your life, there are a few varietals that immediately come to mind. For me, Garnacha is certainly one of them. So when I found this bottle at a local wine shop for under $20, I figured, why not try something different? So…here’s that story.