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The wine industry in Spain has a long and ancient tradition, as early as 3000 BC have been cultivated vines. The Phoenicia founded around 1100 BC, the city of Gadir (modern Cádiz) and operated by trading with the wine in the Mediterranean. Was the first heyday in 200 BC, as the Romans loved the wine from Baetica (Andalusia). The development was stopped by the invasion of the Moors in 711th For religious reasons, Muslims cleared large areas of vineyards and allowed only the production of Raisins . But they brought the art of distillation with. Only after 700 years later, the Christian reconquest of the south and with the expansion they put on new vineyards. As in many other countries were mostly monks, the monasteries in the vicinity of their vines for the preparation of altar wine planted. Over the following centuries, the wine became an important economic and export arm. From the beginning of the 16th Century conquistadors brought the vast quantities of wine in the newly discovered America. The Spaniards planted there in many areas of European vines in the vineyard and so initiated on that continent. They thus made ​​a significant contribution in many countries of the New World .

In the second half of the 19th Century was the phylloxera also in Spain, and destroyed most of the vineyards. But Rioja was spared for the time being and as a pest in the early 20th Century also reached the area, were already the most vineyards planted with grafted vines. The French were destroyed by phylloxera vineyards of the demand for wine in their own country failed to meet. French traders first bought large quantities of wine in Spain, and later emigrated to Spain, many French winemakers and wine began to run. Their sophisticated wine cellar technology coined the term today. Political unrest beginning in the 1930s eventually led to the Spanish Civil War and ended in 1939 with the victory of the Nationalists under General Franco. During this time, vineyards and wineries were destroyed. After the opening of borders and the accession to the EU in 1986 there was a new beginning in the Spanish wine. From 1960, a great boom began with the very typical Spanish wine Rioja and sherry . Today, Spain is one of the most dynamic wine-producing countries in the world. In 2007, there were 1.169 million hectares of the vineyard, from which, 34.8 million hectoliters of wine produced. So Spain is in the absolute world top box and rittert with Italy and France constantly for first place (see also under Wine production quantities ).

Spain (after Switzerland and Albania), one of the most mountainous countries in Europe. The country is traversed by major river arteries that supply water for the vineyards. These are the Ebro and Duero in the north of the Tajo (Tagus) in the west, the Guadiana River in the south and the east Júcar and Turia. Spain is divided roughly into three climatic zones. In the so-called "Green Spain" in the north with the regions of Aragon , Asturias, Basque country , Galicia , Cantabria, Catalonia , Navarre and La Rioja , there is a high amount of rainfall, with hot summers and cold winters. In the center lies the vast central plateau meseta (plateau) with the regions of Extremadura and La Mancha . It is extremely hot summers, cold winters and very marked lack of precipitation. The third area is the coastline of southern Catalonia , the Levant and Andalusia . Here, the sea breezes relieve the heat of summer, but there are also some rain. Supposedly there are over 600 cultivated varieties, but many indigenous only be used locally. The white Airén with around 300,000 hectares of the most common wine-grape in the world. The 15 most common species, with around 70% of the total vineyard area are (status on the part 2004):

Grape Color Synonyms Hectare %
Airén white Forcallada, Lairén 306 000 25.5
Tempranillo red Cencibel , Tinto Fino, Tinta de Toro , Ull de Llebre 120 000 10.0
Bobal red Bobal Noir Provechón, Tinto de Requena 89 000 7.4
Garnacha Tinta red Grenache Noir , Garnacha 86 000 7.2
Monastrell red Moristel 65 000 5.4
Pardillo white Pardilla, Pardillo de Madrid 52 000 4.3
Macabeo white Maccabeo, Viura 33 000 2.8
Palomino white Listán , Palomino Fino, Perrum 30 000 2.5
Mencia red Jaén you Dao , Loureiro Tinto 11 300 1.0
Pedro Ximénez white Pedro Jiménez, Pedro Ximen, PX 11 100 0.9
Cayetana Blanca white Calagraño , Jaén Blanco 11 000 0.9
Chelva white Mantua, Montua, Raisin de Port Royal 11 000 0.9
Parellada white Martorella, Montonec, Montoneo 10 400 0.9
Carignan red Carignan Noir, Cariñena , Mazuelo 9500 0.9
Xarel · Lo white Pansa Blanca, Xarello, Xarello Blanco 9200 0.8

A new classification system with controlled-origin label was introduced in 1970 that focuses on Italian and French wine law. About half of the vineyard has to date DO status. About 70% of Spanish production accounts for easy consumption or table wine. About the quality label "Designation of Origin" is the name of the DO (for example, Alicante, Ribera del Guadiana or Tarragona), only the sparkling wine Cava and Sherry when there is an exception, because the names speak for themselves, so to speak. The regions and areas and their areas are classified as DO, or Vino de Pago DOCa:

* Condado de Huelva, with 7,500 hectares
* Jerez (DO for sherry ) with 10,500 ha
* Malaga , with 1,200 hectares
* Montilla-Moriles 10,000 ha
* Sierras de Malaga , with 1,200 hectares

* Calatayud 7,300 ha
* Campo de Borja 7200 ha
* Cariñena with 17,000 hectares
* Somontano with 2,900 acres

Balearic Islands , with 2,200 hectares
* Binissalem
* Pla i Llevant

Basque country
* chacolí (Arabako Txakolina) with 75 acres
* chacolí (Getariako Txakolina) with 175 hectares
* chacolí (Bizkaiko Txakolina) with 195 hectares

* Ribera del Guadiana, with 27,000 hectares

* Monterrei with 550 acres
* Rias Baixas 2,650 ha
* Ribeira Sacra , with 1,200 hectares
* Ribeiro with 3,000 acres
* Valdeorras with 1,500 acres

* Arribes del Duero with 750 acres
* Bierzo , with 4,000 hectares
* Cigales with 2,750 acres
* Ribera del Arlanza with 460 acres
* Ribera del Duero with 18 600 ha
* Rueda with 7,500 acres
* Tierra de León , with 1,500 hectares
* Tierra del Vino de Zamora, with 780 hectares
* Toro , with 4,000 hectares

Canary Islands with 9,000 acres
* Abona
* El Hierro
* Gran Canaria
* La Gomera
* Lanzarote
* La Palma
* Monte Lentiscal
* Tacoronte-Acentejo
* Valle de Güímar
* Valle da la Orotava
* Ycoden-Daute-Isora

* Alella with 560 acres
* Empordà-Costa Brava (Empordà-Costa Brava) with 2,300 acres
* Catalunya with 3,600 acres
* Cava (national DO) with 32,000 ha
* Conca de Barberà with 6,000 acres
* Coster del Segre , with 4,000 hectares
* Montsant with 2,000 acres
* Penedès with 26,500 hectares
* Pla del Bages with 500 acres
* Priorato (DOCa) with 1,600 acres
* Tarragona 7,300 ha
* Terra Alta at 8,300 ha

La Mancha , with 200,000 ha
* Almansa 7,600 ha
* Campo de la Guardia (Vino de Pago)
* Dehesa del Carrizal (Vino de Pago)
* Dominio de Valdepusa (Vino de Pago)
* Finca Elez (Vino de Pago)
* Manchuela with 4,100 acres
* Méntrida with 12 800 ha
* Mondéjar with 750 acres
* Pago Florentino (Vino de Pago)
* Pago Guijoso (Vino de Pago)
* Ribera del Júcar with 9,200 acres
* Uclés with 1,500 acres
* Valdepeñas with 29,000 hectares

* Alicante with 14,500 hectares
* Bullas with 2,300 acres
* Jumilla with 41 300 ha
* Utiel-Requena , with 40,000 hectares
* Valencia with 17,000 hectares
* Yecla with 4,600 acres

Navarre with 17 300 ha
* Prado Irache (Vino de Pago)
* Scenario de Arínzano (Vino de Pago)
* Scenario de Otazu (Vino de Pago)

Rioja (DOCa, 3 sub-areas) with 62,000 ha

Vinos de Madrid (3 sub-DOs) with 11,800 ha

The Spanish central body for all quality wines, the INDO (Instituto Nacional de Denominaciones de Origen), where for each DO region has its own regulatory authority, the "Control Board" is responsible. This includes representatives of growers, producers, traders and the Ministry of Agriculture, and biochemists. This authority is defined by the "Reglamento" the vine varieties that allowed documents to return in hectoliters per hectare, the Bestockungs-density, pruning and production methods (mature technology, alcohol content, sugar content, dry matter values). The Authority shall also decide on new plantings. Only after organoleptically examination of wines by a committee of the Consejo, the label is released.

Wine categories: In August 2009, the EU wine market organization with fundamental changes in the levels of quality wine terms and was valid. For the EU countries to allow time for changes, a transition period until end of 2011. The following new names and grades (see also detailed under Quality System ):

* Vino - now as a term equivalent to the Forbidden Vino de Mesa
* = IGP Geographical Protection (formerly VdlT = Vino de la Tierra)
* Designation of Origin PDO = Protegida (formerly DO, DOCa)

Vino de Mesa (VdM): Corresponds to the lowest level of the EU table wine . In general, a blend of wines from different regions. The label is "Vino de Mesa, Product of Spain" and usually a brand name, but it may no vintage and no source term are given. There are exceptions, but officially approved by quotes for "Vino de Mesa," a region or province, but which may not be one of the officially classified as DO's, as well as the vintage.

Vino de la Tierra (VdlT): Conforms to European-level Wine Country . Express a Vino de Mesa and mention "Vino de la Tierra", the geographical origin and the grape varieties used. A minimum alcohol content is defined. There is a taste test. The label must be given community or area, for example, "Vino de la Tierra de La Mancha". There are about 30 classified areas.

The Geographical Viñedos de España: In August 2006, newly introduced source of quality wines produced in specified regions. These may be used for table wines, fortified wines, wines from overripe grapes and sparkling, as if they come from areas classified as Vino de la Tierra. The name is - and regionally across - possible for eleven autonomous regions, the Balearic and Canary islands, some communities are excluded. In the four regions of the Basque Country, Galicia, Castile-Leon and La Rioja, this is at the express request of the competent regional governments are not implemented. The whites have at least 11% alcohol content, and 4 g / l acid, the red wines at least 12% vol and 4 g / l.

Vino de Calidad con the Geographical (VCIG): A Vino de la Tierra (country wine) with controlled origin label. This new level was introduced in 2003 following the example of Italian IGT. It is the precursor to DO.

Designation of Origin (DO): Corresponds to the Italian DOC and the French AOC. The area in question must have been at least five years as "Vino de Calidad the Geographical" defined. The grapes must originate from the specified area on a "higher prestige" must have. The special characteristics must be due to the geographical origin. There must be a "Control Board" to give. With the status of the end of 2010 there were around 75 DO-classified areas.

Designation of Origin Calificada (DOCa): Corresponds to the Italian DOCG. The highest class was introduced in 1988. It is only awarded to outstanding wines from areas whose production is monitored carefully. The grapes must come from registered vineyards. The area must be at least ten years have had DO status. There is a more rigorous selection of grapes, lower income limits and stricter development regulations. The wines have to make several consecutive years, consistently high quality of the test. There is an analytical and organoleptic tests. The wines may only be bottled as a producer bottling come on the market. Only two areas have been classified, namely Rioja in 1991 and Priorato in 2001. The next candidate is Ribera del Duero known.

Vino de Pago (see details here): This 2003 newly introduced level constitutes the top of the quality pyramid. These are smaller areas with distinct character. The current nine areas are classified under the above mentioned areas.

Maturity names: Traditionally, Spanish wines are sold only when they are ready to drink. For each type of wine is determined exactly how long they mature in wooden barrels or in bottles must. From top wineries maturity periods are very often far exceeded. The following guidelines apply to red wines. The white and rosé wines have each matured for only six months in the barrel and each may come a year earlier on the market; Reservas and Gran Reservas are rare.

Joven: term for a young wine that is sold in the year following the harvest, and only a short (maximum six months) or not matured in the barrel is. These wines are intended for immediate consumption.

Crianza : This literally means "education" (= extension). These wines must be aged at least 24 months, including six months in oak barrels and 18 months in the bottle.

Reserve : These wines must be aged at least 36 months, of which at least 12 months in oak barrels and the rest in the bottle. This designation is only DO and DOCa wines.

Gran Reserva: These wines must be aged at least at least 60 months, of which at least at least 18 months (up to 2005 there were 24) in oak barrels and the rest in the bottle. This designation is DO and DOCa wines.

Aging Classification: Regardless of the provisions of Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva, there are terms that may depend on the aging and Ausbauart be used. These are Añejo (24 months), Noble (18 months) and Viejo (36 months). It is noted that these designations are not without controversy in Spain as they age a wine with a higher a priori that a "better quality" attest.

Label : Includes among the rest sweetness level (seco = dry, semi-seco = medium dry, abocado = semi-sweet, dulce = sweet) and wine (Clarete = light red wine, champagne = sparkling wine, Tinto = dark wine, Rosado = rosé, Generoso = dessert wine).
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