Ultimate Guide to the Emporda Wine Region

If you’re familiar with the artist Salvador Dali, you may be familiar with the Emporda region of Spain. See our collection of wine pictures
iStockphoto/Matthew Dixon

­The Emporda wine region is tucked into the very northeastern corner of Spain. If you love the surrealist artist Salvador Dali, you might have heard of it. But if you're simply a lover of wine, Emporda may not have had a chance to capture your attention just yet. Its wine production dropped drastically after battling phylloxera. However, E­mporda is battling back for a wine­making renaissance, using small cooperative bodegas to produce an annual 1,700,000 gallons (69,827 hl) on just 5,000 acres (2,000 hectares) [source: Counsel Regulador].

With winemaking exports tracing back more than 2,000 years, you might expect the Emporda wine region would have a long and substantive history of viticulture and winemaking behind it. However, phylloxera, a grape louse, infiltrated local crops in the same way it took over much of France. While France made quite the rebound, regions like Emporda weren't so lucky. Acres of terraces and vineyards were left to wither and still remain empty today.

­Today, the Spanish wine region boasts several Designation of Origin, or DO, wines, a mark of quality. It has a diverse climate and soils that are perfect for grape harvests -- the region has only a few frosts a year. The diverse soils and landscapes (from marshes and valleys to c­oves and mountains) allow the region to produce all kinds of grapes and wines [source: Emporda Online]. Though red dominates their wine production by more than half, the region also produces whites, rosés -- even sparkling and semi sparkling wines.

So grab a glass, sit back, and start the Emporda's wine renaissance by learning the region's original winemaking history on the next page.