Everyone knows that Spain is the real paradise for foodies. Thousands of people come here every year to spend a good time and of course to enjoy famous Spanish food.

However, Spain has many things to offer apart from food.

For example…. Spanish Wine!

Spain is the world’s second-largest wine producer. It goes behind Italy and ahead of France. Red, white, rose, sparkling wine, cava – a wide choice is presented.

In Spain, wine is produced in every one of the 17 autonomous communities.

Some of them are more famous and others are less, but all of them are decent and worth to be tried! The most popular and famous regions are La Rioja and Priorat.

However, regions such as Ribera del Duero, Navarra, Jerez, Utiel-Requena, Penedés, Castilla la Mancha, Galicia, Rueda, etc producing exceptional quality wines.

To understand more or less about which wine to buy for dinner we need to have a look at the classification. So let’s see how Spain classifies its wine.

Classification of Spanish wines

Spanish wine classification is very similar to Italian and French ones.

  • Vino de Mesa –  the table wine. This category includes wines from unclassified vineyards that are produced from several grape varieties. Less controlled category of wine. There will be no indication about the type of grape have been used or the year of harvesting.
  • Vino de la tierra – This wine is of a higher quality than vino de mesa. Its label indicates the harvest year, the grape variety used and could include the region of production.
  • Denominacion de Origen (DO) – many Spanish vineyards are classified as DO. Here presented wines from certain wine regions. Production of these wines is very well controlled by laws. On the bottle you will find more information about the wine – type of grape, year, the method of production, region, how old is the wine etc. These wines are produced following certain regional standards, which means a higher quality of wine and gives to consumer such a guaranty about what is in the bottle.
  • Denominacion de Origеn Calificada (DOC) – the highest category of Spanish wines, so far assigned to only two appellations: Rioja and Priorat. In addition to the DO standards for DOC, the territory in which the vineyards are located and the movement of grapes and wine materials are more strictly controlled.
  • Denominación de origen protegida (DOP or Vino de Pago)  – corresponds to the French term “cru” (individual vineyard with distinctive characteristics). In addition to the usual set of DO requirements, wines in this category must meet additional extra requirements. There are 14 official “pagos” (vineyards) registered in Spain.

In Spain, there is also a system dividing wine into categories depending on the ageing of the wine before release for sale:

  • Joven
  • Crianza,
  • Reserva,
  • Gran Reserva.

However, please don’t think that the best wine should be the most expensive one. In Spain in every category, in every region and at every price you will find a perfect match with your taste.  There is a wine for every budget and taste!