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Spanish Wine Education

Learn Spanish Wine

Your #1 choice for Spanish Wine Education.

For Wine Enthusiasts & Hospitality Professionals

A Land of History and Tradition

Spanish wine, with its rich tapestry of flavors and traditions, invites you into a world where each glass tells a story of sun-soaked lands, ancient practices, and a deep-seated passion for viticulture. The wine culture of Spain, as diverse and vibrant as the country itself, takes you on an enchanting journey through rolling vineyards, from the green hills of Galicia to the arid plains of La Mancha.

Our course takes you through the world of Spanish wine and covers all of the information you need to know to explain, sell and buy these wines with confidence.

Learning the Wines of Spain

Learning about Spanish wines begins with understanding the country's diverse wine regions, each offering unique varietals and flavors shaped by local climate and soil conditions.

 

This page gives you a glance at some of the important topics in the world of Spanish wine. These are topics you will use for a lifetime if you are a wine enthusiast or a hospitality professionals. If you are ready for an in depth look, sign up for our full course & eBook on Spanish Wines.

This course comes with our Topics in Spanish Wine eBook!

Rioja is the benchmark of Spanish wine.

The Rioja region, a revered jewel in the crown of Spanish viticulture, unfolds in the lush valleys and gentle slopes of northern Spain. This storied land, cradled by the Ebro River and sheltered by the majestic Sierra de Cantabria and Sierra de la Demanda mountains, is a mosaic of ancient vineyards and modern innovation. Known for its exquisite red wines, particularly the legendary Tempranillo, Rioja is a symphony of terroir-driven flavors and aging expertise. We cover Rioja deeper in our course and our Topics in Spanish Wine eBook.

Ribera del Duero is on the rise in the world of wine.

Ribera del Duero is renowned for its exceptional wines, especially reds, which are widely acclaimed for their depth, complexity, and aging potential. Nestled along the Duero River in the northern plateau of the Iberian Peninsula, this area boasts a unique terroir characterized by a continental climate, significant diurnal temperature variations, and diverse soils ranging from limestone to clay and sand. This region has certainly been on the rise over the past few decades, and we cover it well in our eBook and course... sign up now!

Sparkling Wines are right at home in Spain.

Cava is a sparkling wine that has gained international recognition for its quality and unique characteristics. Originating primarily from the Penedès region in Catalonia, Cava is produced using the traditional method of secondary fermentation in the bottle, similar to the process used for Champagne. This method imparts a complexity and depth of flavor that distinguishes Cava from other sparkling wines.

 

Sparkling wines from around the world are often a great answer to Champagne, especially for those who are adventurous drinkers. Learning about Cava and the sparkling offerings from places like Spain give you a wider palate to choose from when selecting wines for yourself or your friends. Sign up for our course and learn more about Cava, as well as the important regions and grapes Spain has to offer. 

Additional Regions of Note

Rías Baixas, Galicia

Wine from Rías Baixas is acclaimed for its exceptional Albariño wines, which are celebrated for their light-bodied, aromatic qualities, showcasing flavors of peach, lemon, and mineral undertones. Situated in the Galicia region in the northwest of Spain, Rías Baixas' cool, rainy climate and granitic soils are ideal for producing these fresh, high-acidity wines, making them perfect companions to seafood.

Priorat, Catalonia

Wine from Priorat is celebrated for its powerful and concentrated red wines, primarily made from Garnacha and Cariñena grape varieties, which flourish in the region's unique llicorella (slate) soils. The rugged terrain and low-yielding vines of Priorat contribute to the depth, intensity, and minerality of its wines, distinguishing them as some of Spain's most prestigious and age-worthy offerings. 

Rueda, Castile and León

Wine from Rueda is renowned for its high-quality Verdejo grapes, which produce crisp, aromatic white wines with vibrant acidity and distinctive herbal and citrus notes. The region's continental climate and high-altitude vineyards contribute to the unique character and complexity of Rueda wines, making them highly sought after for their freshness and flavor profile.

Toro, Castile and León

Wine from the Toro region is renowned for its bold and robust red wines, primarily crafted from the Tinta de Toro grape variety, a local clone of Tempranillo that has adapted to the region's extreme climate. The wines of Toro are characterized by their deep color, powerful tannins, and high alcohol content, often showcasing flavors of dark fruit, leather, and spice. 

Spain is a dynamic wine producing nation, with a vast amount of interesting wine regions and cultural centers. Our course is designed to give you a solid foundation on the world of Spanish wine, reviewing each region, grape variety and wine producer you need to know about from Spain.

Curated for the beginner & intermediate learner. 
  • Basque Country
    The Basque region of Spain, known for its rich cultural heritage and stunning landscapes, also boasts a unique and prestigious winemaking tradition. Among its most celebrated contributions to the world of wine is the Txakoli (Chacolí), a lightly sparkling, dry white wine that is emblematic of Basque hospitality and cuisine. Predominantly produced in the coastal areas of Getaria, Bizkaia, and Álava, Txakoli is characterized by its high acidity and low alcohol content, making it a refreshing choice, especially when paired with the region's seafood dishes. Looking for more ways to learn? Try our course today.
  • Canary Islands
    Wine from the Canary Islands, an archipelago off the coast of Africa but politically part of Spain, is gaining international acclaim for its unique and diverse wines, thanks to the islands' volcanic soils and the ancient vines that thrive in them. The extreme landscape creates a microclimate where vines are planted at various altitudes, from sea level up to the slopes of the mountains, including those on terraces carved into the volcanic rock. This results in a wide array of wine styles, from crisp, mineral-driven whites made from the Listán Blanco grape to aromatic and complex reds from Listán Negro and Negramoll. We go deeper into this and a lot more inside of our Spanish Wine Course.
  • Galicia
    Galicia, located in the northwest corner of Spain, is a unique wine region distinguished by its lush, verdant landscapes, heavily influenced by the Atlantic Ocean. This cool, rainy region is a stark contrast to the arid climates typically associated with Spanish wine regions, providing a perfect environment for growing high-acidity white grape varieties. We cover Galicia, Rias Baixas and the Albariño grape well in our course. Sign up now!
  • Montilla-Moriles
    Montilla-Moriles, located in the southern Spanish region of Andalucía, is renowned for its exceptional wines, particularly its fortified Pedro Ximénez (PX) varieties, which stand as a testament to the area's rich winemaking heritage. This region produces wines that are often compared to Sherry, owing to their similar production methods, but Montilla-Moriles wines distinguish themselves through the exclusive use of the Pedro Ximénez grape. This grape is sun-dried to concentrate its sugars, resulting in wines with a profound sweetness and depth of flavor, characterized by notes of fig, raisin, and molasses. Beyond the celebrated sweet wines, the region also produces dry whites, finos, and amontillados, which are appreciated for their complexity and nutty, oxidative profiles. The unique terroir, marked by its albariza soil – a bright, chalky substrate ideal for viticulture – contributes significantly to the distinct character of Montilla-Moriles wines, making them a cherished component of Andalucía's gastronomic identity.
  • Valencia
    Valencia, located along the eastern coast of Spain, is a dynamic and diverse wine region that marries the ancient with the modern in its viticultural practices. The region benefits from a warm Mediterranean climate, which is ideal for the cultivation of a wide range of grape varieties, producing an array of wine styles from robust reds and aromatic whites to refreshing rosés and luscious sweet wines.
  • Tempranillo
    The Tempranillo grape is a quintessential Spanish varietal, renowned for its pivotal role in producing some of the country's most celebrated red wines, particularly those from the Rioja and Ribera del Duero regions. Characterized by its deep ruby color, Tempranillo wines offer a harmonious blend of flavors, including berries, plum, tobacco, vanilla, and leather, often enriched through aging in oak barrels. We cover all of the regions and grapes you need to know in our course. Sign up now!
  • Garnacha
    Garnacha, or Grenache as it is known internationally, is one of Spain's most widely planted and versatile red wine grapes, originating from the northern regions of Aragón and Catalonia. Famed for its contribution to the lush, fruit-driven wines of Priorat, as well as being a crucial component in the blends of Rioja, Garnacha wines are celebrated for their rich raspberry and strawberry flavors, accented by spicy, peppery notes. The grape thrives in Spain's hot, dry climates, producing wines with high alcohol content and soft tannins, making Garnacha-based wines both approachable in their youth and capable of aging gracefully.
  • Monastrell
    Monastrell is a dark-skinned wine grape variety that plays a significant role in the country's viticultural landscape, particularly in the regions of Valencia, Jumilla, and Yecla. This grape is celebrated for producing deeply colored, rich, and full-bodied wines that exhibit flavors of blackberry, plum, black pepper, and game, often with a high tannin content and a notable ability to age gracefully. In Spain, Monastrell is frequently used as a single varietal wine, showcasing its intense fruit flavors and earthy undertones, but it can also be found as a vital component in blends, adding structure and complexity. The grape thrives in Spain's hot, dry climates, where the long growing season allows it to fully ripen and develop its characteristic bold flavors and aromas, making it a cornerstone of the region's red wine production.
  • Palomino
    The Palomino grape is most famously associated with the Jerez region, where it is the dominant grape used in the production of Sherry, a fortified wine celebrated globally. This grape thrives in the albariza soil of Jerez, lending itself well to the unique conditions required for Sherry production, including the development of flor, a layer of yeast that contributes significantly to the wine's flavor profile. Palomino grapes produce wines that are characteristically light and dry with a subtle nutty flavor when used in Sherry, though the grape can also produce still white wines that are crisp and refreshingly simple.
  • Albariño
    The Albariño grape is a white wine variety predominantly grown in the Rías Baixas DO (Denominación de Origen) region in Galicia, northwest Spain. Esteemed for its distinctive aromatic profile, Albariño wines are celebrated for their intense floral and fruity notes, including aromas of apricot, peach, and citrus, complemented by zesty acidity and a saline minerality that reflects the coastal terroir. These characteristics make Albariño wines exceptionally food-friendly, pairing wonderfully with seafood, tapas, and a variety of other dishes, and have contributed to the grape's growing popularity on the international wine scene.
  • Viura
    The Viura grape, also known as Macabeo in other parts of Spain, is a white wine grape variety that is widely planted in the Rioja and Catalonia regions. It is known for producing wines that are fresh and aromatic, with a palate of green apple, citrus, and floral notes, often used in the production of both still white wines and as a key component in Cava, the Spanish sparkling wine.
  • Cava production
    The production of Cava, Spain's iconic sparkling wine, is rigorously regulated to ensure its quality and authenticity, governed by a specific set of laws under the Spanish Denominación de Origen (DO) system. Cava must be produced using the traditional méthode champenoise, known in Spain as the "método tradicional," which involves secondary fermentation in the bottle to generate its characteristic bubbles. Looking for a deeper look into the world of Spanish Wine? Our course covers these topics in detail... sign up today!
  • Denominaciones de Origen
    Spain's wine laws are designed to ensure the quality and authenticity of its wines, governed by a system similar to the French Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC). At the top of the quality pyramid are the Denominaciones de Origen Protegidas (DOP), which include Denominaciones de Origen (DO) and the prestigious Denominaciones de Origen Calificadas (DOCa), such as Rioja and Priorat, reserved for regions with a proven track record of consistency and quality over time. These classifications dictate various aspects of viticulture and winemaking, including grape varieties, yields, and aging requirements. Below the DOP level, the Vinos de Calidad con Indicación Geográfica (VCIG) serves as a stepping stone for regions aspiring to DO status, encouraging them to elevate their quality. Additionally, Spain recognizes Vinos de la Tierra (VdlT), akin to the French Vin de Pays, indicating wines of good quality that reflect their specific region of origin but with less stringent regulations than DO wines. The broadest category, Vinos de Mesa (table wines), encompasses wines that do not meet the criteria of the higher designations or choose not to apply for them, allowing for innovation and experimentation outside traditional rules.
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