Though there are more than 50 D.O. registered wine regions in Spain, only six of them are considered key regions. They are Rioja, Penedes, Ribera del Duero, Rueda, Jerez and Valdepenas. Each is distinctly different and important to the history and tradition of Spanish wine growing.
- Rioja is home to 14,000 vineyards, many of which were founded by the Ancient Romans. Rioja covers 120 km (74 m) running down either side of the Rio Oja River. The region is known for its red, white and rose wines [source: Spanish Fiestas].
- Penedes, located in the Northeast, is known for its production of white wines, especially Cava, which has helped fund wine production for most of the region. There are three sub regions of Penedes -- the Bajo, Medio and Alto regions (which are the Spanish words for lower, middle and upper, respectively) [source: Spanish Fiestas].
- Ribera del Duero is found on a plateau along the banks of the Duero River. This region experiences extreme weather during both the summer and winter. Fortunately, the climate works with the land to create ideal conditions for the Tempranillo grape. The region is home to some of Spain's most iconic wineries [source: Cellar Tours].
- Rueda consists of only 47 vineyards and 7,700 hectares of land, taking up less than 1percent of the total land Spain devotes to wine growing. It is located in the province of Segovia and Valladolid and is known for its production of both Tempranillo and Garnacha grapes [source: Espavino]
- Jerez, located in the Andalusia region of Spain, is home to Sherry, a fortified wine famous for its high alcohol content, which is between 15 and 20 percent. It is made in an area forming a triangle between Perez, El Puerto de Santa Maria, and Sanlucar de Barrameda [source: Exploring Wine].
- Valdepenas, which is known for its soft, ripe red wines, is located in South-central Spain. The white Airen grape is the dominant variety of the region. The most famous red wine produced in the area is made from a blend of white and red grapes [source: Wine Searcher].
In addition to the key regions above, other notable Spanish Wine regions include:
For more wine-related information, visit the links on the next page.