SELECCION ELVARA - TASTE AND DISCOVER THE WINES OF SPAIN
Click on the thumbnail image to view a detailed map of the principal Spanish wine producing regions with Denominacion de Origen status
Bodegas Marques de Reinosa
Located in the Basque country of northern Spain, this is the best known of all Spanish wine regions and the first to be accredited by the ConsejoRegulador when it was established in 1926 to control production and quality. It comprises three sub regions, climate affecting the wine styles from each. In broad terms, Rioja Alta and Alavesa produce the more delicate wines and focus on the Tempranillo grape, whilst Rioja Baja wines are generally made with a higher proportion of Garnacha, due to the hotter, Meditarranean influenced climate in this area. Rioja is Spain's biggest wine exporter.
Whilst bodegas abound in Rioja and well-known brands continue to dominate, classic, traditional Rioja styles are increasingly being challenged by a new generation of winemakers who are creating contemporary styles ranging from alta expression reds to youthful, zesty whites and increasingly, rosados. Thus, Rioja is adapting to changing world trends and nowadays encompasses a palette of wines to suit all tastes.
BODEGAS MARQUES DE REINOSA
This brand new bodega cooperative lies just outside the town of Autol in sub-region Rioja Baja, and boasts 1200 hectares of owned vineyards. All wines are estate bottled and made from vines grown on the estate. Rioja Baja (compared to Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa) yields Tempranillo grapes of a different character that deliver greater concentrationj and deeper colour. Belyingits contemporary look this winery has a proud heritage stretching back well over one hundred years. Founder, Marquis of Reinosa, was a key player in the development of Rioja wine during the second half of the 19th century, shaping the industry for what it has become today.
Today, Bodegas Marques de Reinosa marries latest technology with heritage to produce modern style red, white and rose Rioja wines which are sold throughout Spain and in international markets across the world.
Pesquera in the heart of Ribera del Duero
The home of
Vega Sicilia, Ribera del Duero is arguably one of Spain's most prestigious wine regions. Situated along the
banks of the River Duero (which accommodates 5 D.O.s along its route), the high altitude
vineyards planted at around 800mtrs, experience high diurnal temperature
predominant grape grown is Tinta del Pais, a close relation of the famous
Tempranillo grape. However, due to the region's unique climate, red wines from
Tinta del Pais display quite different characteristics compared to the
Tempranillo grape grown in neighbouring Rioja. White wines are not
permitted under the Ribera del Duero designation.
from this region are respected worldwide and are recognised as among the finest
in Spain. This, however, is reflected in the price, and the
proliferation of boutique wineries that have sprung up to challenge the more
Founded in 1957 this bodega is a co-operative of 130
members boasting 250 hectares of vineyards, in some cases well over 60 years
old. All grapes are carefully selected by hand with the older vines supplying
the fruit for crianzas and reservas. A newly refurbished winery was
inaugurated in 1997, with the addition of 700 American and French oak barrels,
stainless steel, temperature-controlled fermentation and storage vessels and a
state-of-the art bottling hall.
An important producer in the
region, their wines are sold under the Torremoron, Senderillo and Tiberio
labels and exported largely to Europe, North
America and Asia. An
excellent rosado is also produced using the indigenous Albillo
100 year old Tinta de Toro vines at Estancia Piedra
High on the plains north-west of Madrid, this region takes its name from the medieval town of Toro, which sits on the river Duero, flowing east to west and providing for the vineyards on its way.
Rapidly establishing itself as one of the most exciting wine-producing areas in Spain, the principal grape is the Tinta de Toro, a variety of Tempranillo. At 600m altitude, with hot days and cool nights, the grape is able to concentrate its flavours, producing deep colour with intense fruit and tannins.
Other authorised grape varieties include Garnacha, Verdejo and Malvasia which are used to makegood quality whites and rosados. However, red wines are the benchmark with all categories from jovenes, crianzas through to reservas and gran reservas. Reds must contain at least 75% Tinta de Toro.
This brand new bodega sits amidst its own vineyards, in the valley of the River Guarena, a tributary of the Duero. Tinta de Toro and Garnacha predominate, some vines being over 100 years old. Meticulous vineyard husbandry and cutting edge wine making technology is the order of the day complemented by carefully crafted cellar management for the ageing process. Estancia Piedra's aim is to produce top quality international style, with vibrant fruit flavours and traditional Spanish elegance, as evidenced by a string of prestigious international accolades
Ancient Garnacha vines at 600 metres
Terra Alta, quite literally the high land, is a rugged
landscape with ancient, hilly vineyards on a plateau some 500 metres above sea
level inland from Tarragona city. Limestone soil with good drainage and the
Mediterranean climate with continental influences produce excellent conditions
for the growing of quality Tempranillo, Garnacha and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes
that form the backbone of the region's reds.
As with neighbouring Priorat and Montsant, Terra Alta
was a region of co-operatives making wine in bulk for blending.Today, these
bodegas are using the latest technology to produce complex wines at highly
competitive prices compared to their better-known peers in North Spain. Terra
Alta is a perfect example of the so-called New Spain and is
fast gaining international acclaim.
The Montsant region is isolated by mountains forming a natural
barrier to the sea thus giving the effect of a mild continental climate coupled
with the humid sea breezes. The landscape is stunning with small terraced
vineyards, and the dramatic, massif Montsant (holy mountain) dominating the
The wines from the region originate from Roman times, Tarragona
province being the centre for Roman occupation of Spain. The
predominant grape varieties are Garnacha, Carinena and Tempranillo, with
increasing use of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. In a new era of
stainless steel, combined with perfect terroir, Montsant has seen rapid growth
of small, individualistic bodegas producing a range of high quality, blended
The name Priorat means Priory and is taken from Priorat
de Scala Dei, for centuries a working winery and still producing to the present
day. One of the most remote highland locations in Catalunya, the Priorat region
ranges in altitude from 100m to 700m and has a huge diversity of micro-climates
and a unique soil structure in Llicorella. Yields are low from the ancient
vines, mainly Garnacha and Carinena over 100 years old, producing highly
complex, concentratedred wines bursting
with fruit. Small, hilly plots make harvesting extremely complex and expensive.
Judicious use of new French barricas for ageingproduces fresher, less oaky styles than traditional Spanish reds.
Accordingly, limited production and new-wave winemaking mean that the Priorat
region has attained international fame with correspondingly high prices
Founded in the 1960s, this cooperative was initially set up to
sell deeply coloured, highly alcoholic bulk wines to large domestic and foreign
negociants. Today, with ultra-modern facilities, 250 members and 500 hectares
under vine, encompassing D.O.s of Priorat, Montsant, Terra Alta and Tarragona,
the bodega is now focused on developing its own range of bottled wines for
export markets (currently over 25 world-wide), whilst maintaining its presence
as a key player in the domestic market.
Whilst producing a full range of red, white, rose and dulce or dessert
wine styles, the bodega specialises in two main areas - keenly priced Reserva
and Gran Reserva blends and entry-level varietal wines, fresh and approachable
in style. A relatively recent initiative
is a range of wines from D.O. Catalunya, a new designation which permits wine
to be made from grapes sourced from anywhere in the state of Catalunya.
12th century bridge on the Camino de Santiago at Adegas Castro Brey
The Rias Baixas, literally meaning lower estuaries, lies
in the north-west corner of Spain in the
most lush and green of all regions, Galicia,
bordering the Atlantic coast and the Portugese border to the south.
The region is best known for the Albarino grape, indigenous to Galicia and
also northern Portugal where
it is known as Alvarinho. Other white grape varieties grown are
Treixadura, Caino, and Loureira (or Godello). The temperate climate produces
difficult growing conditions requiring high vineyard maintenance. This together
with fragmented plantations and small-scale bodegas means the wines tend to
sell at premium prices. Albarino wines are aromatic,
fresh and elegant; and are deservedlyrecognised as being the finest white wines in Spain and ranked among the best in the world.
Adegas Castro Brey was founded by Jose Castro Brey in 1985 in the
tiny village of Camanzo, Vila de Cruces near
Santiago de Compostela. A small family business in an area steeped in wine
history, the bodega owns 10 hectares of vineyards along the valley of the river
Ulla in the sub-zone Val do Salnes.
A compact, modern winery produces three Albarino mono-varietal wines, Senorio
de Cruces, Castro Valdes and Sin Palabras which are widely exported. A fourth
white wine Senorio da Regas, is an Albarino based blend of four local grape
The vineyards of Rueda lie on a high plateau at altitude of 600-700 metres through which cuts the Duero river. The continental climate of cold winters and hot summers with dramatic diurnal temperatures provide the ideal conditions for the Verdejo grape. In Rueda, the indigenous Verdejo grape reigns supreme and has now achieved international status as one of the finest white wines of Spanish origin. Fruity, fresh and with crisp acidity it is ideally positioned for the international palate. Other white grapes grown are Sauvignon Blanc, Viura and Palomino, though Verdejo accounts for around 60% of production. Only white wines are permitted to bear the Rueda D.O. and for a wine to be labelled Verdejo, it must contain at least 85% of the grape. DIEZ SIGLOS DE VERDEJO
This ultra-modern bodega is located close to the picturesque village of Serrada, some 70 km north west of Segovia. Several generations of farmers were heir to atradition of vine cultivation, before investing in their own winery; they currently number 69 small to medium sized members with a total of 390 hectares of owned vineyards, many at altitudes of over 700 metres. The principal wine produced is the 100% mono varietal Verdejo, along with Viura and Sauvignon Blanc blends. This winery produces the Rioja bodega Marqués de Reinosa's own brand Castillo de Berisa listed on our White Wine page and can be supplied alond with their Rioja range.
This spectacular region lies some 100 km north east of Barcelona bordering France. It is now one of Spain's new fast growing wine producing areas famous for it's dramatic coastline, coves and bays. European tourism dominates the income of the region due to the proximity to France, scenery and the Dali effect of his museum in Figueres and special unique home in Port Ligat, Cadaques.
Grapes gown are primarily Tempranillo, Garnacha and Cariñena for reds, though Cabernet, Merlot and Syrah are increasingly used in blends and as monovarietal offerings. Parellada, Xarel-lo and Macabeo are the principal white grapes with Chardonnay growing in popularity. The wines are fresh and fruity, clearly influenced by the Mediterranean climate. This is truly a dramatically beautiful region, renowned for it's cuisine and increasingly for it's wine - one of Spain's best regions for a gourmet tour.
Founded in 1764, this family winery goes back for generations, though some 200 years ago wine was only produced for family consumption. In 1948 Josep Oliveda and his wife Joana Rigau Ros founded a company marketing wines and cavas which has developed now into a state of the art, modern winery in the stunningly beautiful village of Capmany, a stone throw away from the French border.
The bodega produces a range of wines and cavas under three D.O.'s Emporda, Catalunya and Cava. Wine brands include Rigau Ros and Masia Oliveda with a range of entry level and premium cavas marketed under the Familia Oliveda brand. Very commercial for the high quality delivered, these wines are highly successful in export markets where almost half the production is targeted.
Unlike wines from D.O.s such as Rioja and Ribera del Duero, D.O. Cava is not a geographical region. Cava can (in theory) come from anywhere in Spain, provided the vineyard is listed, it is made with approved grape varietals and in the traditional method by fermentation in the bottle. The French call this methode champenoise. Thus the intrinsic difference between Cava and Champagne is of provenance and grapes used. In practice, 95% of Cava is made in Catalunya. Grapes used are restricted to the indigenous Parellada, Macabeo, Xarel-lo, Malvasia and/or Chardonnay. For pink Cavas, Monastrell and/or Garnacha can be used. By law, Cava must spend at least 9 months in bottle maturing, with Reservas spending 18 months and Gran Reservas 30 months minimum. Cava is produced in a range of dryness/sweetness from Brut Nature (bone dry), to Semiseco (medium sweet).
See above under EMPORDA. Familia Oliveda is a family concern based in the heart of Dali country. Lying at the foot of the Pyrenees, where they tend 50 hectares of their own vines, the winery produces a full range of Cava styles, blanco and rosat under the Familia Oliveda brand.
The winery has invested in new technology over the years to extract the very best from their quality fruit, whilst maintaining the traditional winemaking techniques which lend their wines a singular character.A beautiful winery to visit with it's stone facade and original refurbished buildings, it includes a wine museum, gourmet store plus traditional cellars.
Harvest time - Bodegas Barahonda
Yecla lies within the province of Murcia, inland north west of Alicante. It was one of the few areas in Europe to escape the Phylloxera epidemic over a century ago, the legacy being very old, ungrafted vines which deliver a unique character to the wines. Yecla is surrounded by a ring of high mountains which provide a microclimate very different from the rest of the region. The altitude plays an important part in the wine production, producing extreme daily temperature differences, especially in summer. This coaxes the best qualities from the grapes.
Monastrell (known as Mourvedre in France, but of Spanish origin) is the signature grape here and thrives particularly well in the micro-climate, producing superior wines of elegance, complexity and structure, yet very approachable for the consumer. Syrah, Cabernet and Merlot are also grown in the region and produce superb complements to Monastrell in coupage.
BODEGAS SENORIO DE BARAHONDA
The winery's origins date back to around 1925 and four generations later the Candela family now operate two wineries, the most recent being the elegant and modern Senorio de Barahonda built in 2003. This state-of-the-art facility was created principally as a commitment to the production of the highest quality wines typical of the region's indigenous Monastrell grape. The architecture is in complete harmony with the surrounding landscape, and sits comfortably amidst its own vineyards.
Grapes grown are Monastrell, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo, Merlot and Petit Verdot. The main stock is predominantly Monastrell vines of an average 35-100 years old, grown across 150 hectares. Production is of a range of carefully blended red wines, always containing a minimum of 70% Monastrell.