The art of wine production is a skill now treasured on all ends of the Earth. In greatly differing climates, even spanning the hemispheres, producers have perfected grape cultivation, resulting in a variety of exceptional wines. While great viticulture is found all around, few would disagree with the idea that Europe is the world's wine expert. There, centuries of experimentation and practice have produced countless examples of remarkable wine.
The Somontano wine region is located in northern Spain, surrounded on all sides by five other recognized wine regions. Found at the foot of the Pyrenees Mountains, Somontano has its own Denominacion de Origen (DO), which was created in 1984. The DO is a labeling system and assurance of quality for Spanish wines that is modeled after the Italian DOC.
The region has 30 vineyards and covers roughly 11,370 acres (4,600 hectares) of land. Today, it produces 14.3 million liters of wine every year [source: DOSomontano]. The combination of the region's consistent climate and its long practiced cultivation techniques has made the area a reputable name in the world of viticulture.
The growth and success of the region is due greatly in part to four main wineries -- Enate, Bodegas, Prineos and Vinas del Vero. In their history, these wineries have striven to stay on the cutting edge of winemaking by investing in the latest technology, hiring renowned winemakers and putting emphasis on building the wine tourism industry [source: Cellar Tours]. Spain already has a great number of tourists each year, but these organizations have efforts to provide thorough and public tours of their facilities to spark further interest in their industry.
This article will provide an overview of Somontano, from its history, to its agriculture and finally, to the specific wines that have made Somontano the famed region that it is today.