THINGS TO DO IN SPAIN THIS SUMMER PT 2: VINEYARDS AND WINERIES
This is the second part of our blog series focusing on activities you can take part in Spain this summer.
Spain’s climate is perfect for vineyards, with high temperatures and little seasonal change ensuring the industry thrives all year round. This is great news for wine lovers, as Spain is one of the most prolific producers in the world. Take a quick trip through Spain’s booming wine industry with us as we break down the best regions and vineyards to visit.
Spain is dotted with world-class wine-making regions. The coastal regions near the Mediterranean offer some of the best grape growing conditions, thanks to the cooler and more humid macro-climate from the ocean. Areas of Catalonia, such as Penedes, are famous for Cava, the Spanish equivalent of Champagne. Contrary to popular belief, they are essentially the same drink, with the Champagne label simply being reserved for bottles produced in that region in France! Cava is generally more affordable and just as tasty and bubbly, so you can’t go wrong! Valencia and Murcia are known for the large quantities of quality red wine they produce, especially in and around the area of Priorat, where charming villages and pristine countryside look the same as they did 100 years ago. Andalucía in the south is famous for its white wines, and specifically dessert wines, such as sweet variations of Sherry.
Famous wineries and vineyards
In Priorat, there are numerous small towns and villages, and over 40 wineries to choose from! Most of these are small regional producers, and it can be worth sampling a number around the area, for tasting those that you won’t find in your local supermarket. Visit soon though, it’s one of the fastest growing wine regions in the world! For those that love a bit of bubbly, you’ll want to make a trip to The Codorniu Winery in Barcelona – the world’s oldest and one of the largest producers. An underground maze of cellars and 19 miles worth of tunnels, trains are used to get around, making for a unique visit and tasting experience. Andalusia is ripe with smaller family-run bodegas (wineries). These offer a homely experience, with tours usually involving smaller groups and the opportunity to stay over and utilise the on-site accommodation. You can sample fine wines and local cuisine morning, noon and night!
Types of wine
We’ve already mentioned Cava as a delicious sparkling white wine, as well as numerous reds and whites produced in various wineries. There are some popular and delicious white variants to try including Rueda Verdejo, Viura, and the difficult to pronounce Txakoli. These range from rich, full-bodied (Rueda Verdejo) to the lighter side (Txakoli) which is best enjoyed with a light seafood dish by the coast. In terms of red wines, one of the most famous and loved is named after the area it is produced – Priorat. These tend to be full-bodied and heavier wines, and are often on the pricier side due to their up-and-coming standing. Of course, another way to enjoy wine in Spain is over fruit and ice, blended with fresh orange juice for an old reliable jug of Sangria. You can grab a glass and relax in the sun in your new Spanish home.
Many vineyards run their own tours, with tickets available online. There are also many regional and national travel companies in Spain that organise tours for groups. Think about the types of wines you’d like to try and look at the accessibility before booking, this will ensure you are close to the amenities you need, as many of the wineries and vineyards are out of the way and will require travel to reach them. You could always rent a car and take a self-guided scenic tour of some of the regions, soaking up the breath-taking Spanish countryside. It may even convince you that now’s the time to make the move.
Of course, to make it easier to visit these beautiful wine-making regions, you could always invest in a home in Spain and have access all year round. Click here to start your search or get in touch with our team to discuss your requirements on 0800 011 2639. For more on Spanish food and drink, check our previous post, or read the last post of this series on Spanish events and festivals here.