WSET Bitesize – What are Spain’s main wine regions?

WSET Bitesize - What are Spain's main wine regions?

Hello and uh welcome to uh this webinar Um on Spanish wine regions my name is Ed Wicks Um I’m an educator for the wsct I work At the wsct school London um primarily Teaching wine qualifications through Levels one two uh and and three Um so thank you very much for uh for Joining us today Um just to let you know this webinar Will be recorded and it will be uploaded To the WSET Global events Hub on our YouTube channel to watch back at your Convenience uh very soon Um if I can ask anyone who wishes to Post any questions uh during uh the the Webinar to the Q a box and that will be Monitored and we’ll try and cover as Many of those uh as as possible Um so yeah a little bit about myself so I Um I started my wsct journey about 10 Years ago doing my level one and level Two in 2011. I can’t even remember these days Anymore it’s all gone so quickly Um and I actually fell in love with the Uh the WSET and the qualifications we do And obviously the world of wine and Spirits in general uh and managed to Complete my diploma Four years later which is our level four Qualification and become an educator uh The year after that so

Um absolutely have uh yeah got nothing But High Praise for our qualifications Absolutely love teaching them I Especially love teaching the level one Qualification as it’s uh it’s really Exciting to to um to meet people just as They kind of start their their journey In kind of wine education and it’s very Exciting time to start learning about New uh areas and regions and styles and Discover things that you might fall in Love with so hopefully I can have a talk With you today about uh our Spanish wine Regions Um now Spain is a country that is is Um makes absolutely wonderful wines and A huge huge variety and we’re not going To be able to cover all of them in in The 30 minutes that we have uh today There’s approximately 600 varieties Grown uh in Spain Um and there’s over 100 regions Um so yeah it’s it’s a lot to sink your Teeth into if you become fascinated with Spanish-wise although there’s about 600 Great varieties approximately 80 percent Of all Spanish wines are made from about 20 or so varieties okay so the the key Ones we’re going to be looking at these Three in particular Um first of all Um but a little bit of history on Spain Um wine making as far as records uh go

Back Um kind of has been going on for about 3 000 years or so it was introduced in About 1 000 BC by Phoenicians and ancient Mediterranean civilization Um although there are Um historical records that show Um that great growing and great Cultivation may go back as far as 6 000 Years in Spain Um some archaeological records Um but wine making as such as we know it Um probably for about three thousand Years or so Um it was the Romans however uh that Um when Spain become part of the Roman Empire that really kind of Um took Spanish wine making to the next Level Um and Spanish wine was hugely popular Throughout the whole Roman Empire and as Archaeological evidence of Spanish wines Being enjoyed in the north of England With Roman soldiers stationed at the Outskirts of uh of the Roman Empire in Germany and it was enjoyed thoroughly Back up uh Roman in the the kind of core Of the Roman Empire as well Um and it was enjoyed by by different Kind of levels of society as well so That was the the drink of choice for you Know people who maybe not the Aristocracy but the the like the more

Everyday kind of Roman citizen Um it was their cheap and cheerful wine Um but it was also Um towered it as some of the highest Quality Wines in the Roman Empire as Well and the wines from Catalunya in Particular noted for very high quality Um fast forward 2 000 years or so Um and today Spain has the largest area Of Vineyards in the world Um so Um massive massive industry Um even though it has the largest area Under Vine in the world it’s actually Only the third largest Producer of wine Um in the world lagging behind France And Italy and this is partly to do with Climactic reasons the center of Spain Very dry and arid and this kind of Naturally Reduces the amount of grapes that each Vine produces so even though a lot of Larger area is undervine less wine is is Produced from those those Vines Um now we probably are more familiar With Spain producing Full-bodied fantastic red wines and and That’s probably true with our quality Wines that we see on the export Spain Actually grows more white grapes than Black grapes each year Um but the the Um the the most planted grape variety is

Generally reserved for inexpensive wines That are consumed within Spain or for Being turned into Brandy Um so we’re going to be focusing on the More high quality grapes that you would See on export markets across the world And these are the three that I’ve Selected to talk about some very Important ones for you so first of all Let’s have a think about tempranio so Tempranio is Um responsible for some of the country’s Most famous red wines it is the most Planted uh Black Grape variety uh in Spain and we can see a range of Different wines made from tempranio Um it will have typically really Um ripe red fruit flavors like plums Strawberries cherries Etc It has kind of medium moderate levels of Acidity in tannin making it quite Approachable and and very drinkable Um it can be made as a single variety Wine or tempranio can quite often be Blended with other great varieties Depending on the style of wine that the Wine maker wishes to make Um and quite commonly these tempranio or Tempranio based lens we’ll see Um some Oak maturation Um temporary loves uh taking on these Nice spicy Aromas from Oak barrels so Things like vanilla or clove is

Um very common in tempranio based wines Now the best the very good and Outstanding examples of tempranio that We see these are often able to age Further in bottle and develop Um some really exciting Aromas dried red Fruits and maybe some Savory Aromas like Mushroom can be found in some high Quality aged tempraniums So where do we find tempranio being Planted in Spain well it’s the most Planted Black Grape variety so you’ll Find it in a large number of regions the Three I’ve selected are responsible for A lot of different styles of temporary So catalunia the the place that was uh Famed by Um Roman connoisseurs two thousand years Ago Makes a huge range of tempranio based Wines a single varietal and Blended Tempranios as well It is a source today for a lot of our Kind of inexpensive fruity tempranios That haven’t seen any Oak maturation Um that are to be enjoyed when they’re Fresh and vibrant and tasting all those Lovely strawberries and plums but some More powerful Oak Aged expressions are Also to be found from from this this Wonderful region as well Uh to the west of catalunia in Northern Spain we have two powerhouses uh Responsible for some of the most famous

Fine Wines uh of of Spain Um and Um famed for the quality of the Tempranio that uh is produced here uh Ribera Del duero in really in the center Of uh the mountainous kind of Heart of Northern Spain Um Spain is one of the most mountainous Countries in in Europe which we don’t Necessarily always think of but uh these High altitudes in Rivera Del duero Um mean that we can have really warm Days and really cool nights and this Allows our tempranio to get Um really fruity but also to have high Levels of acidity and make it really um Delicious Um So that is is some of the finest wines Of Spain come out of of this region and They’re they’re all going to be based Around tempranio Ryoka to the north Um east of Ribera Del duero Um this is probably one of the probably The most famous region in in all of Spain and responsible for some Absolutely wonderful red wines that are Tempranio based Um typically we’re going to see a lot of Blending in riocca to guard to add sorry Uh complexity to our tempranio based Wines Um they’re still going to be tempranio

Dominance on the whole Um so lots of lovely red fruit flavors Um both Rivera Del duero and rioca have A uh a tradition Um of Oak maturation in their wines as Well So even though we can find fruity Unoaked tempranio wines from these Regions we’re generally going to be Finding Um some Oak maturation and we have a Range of styles and and labeling terms Um that are associated especially in These regions with uh different ages of Our wines So here in rioca I’ll show you the Labels that you might find in rioca and And hopefully you’ll be able to kind of Decipher what you’re going to find Inside your bottle Um with these these labels Um so in rioca we have different levels Uh Generico cranza reserving and Grand Reserva and these are age statements Okay And each label part of the legislation Of the region means that you have to Have this kind of certificate sticker Put on your bottle so they’re color Coded so you can easily work out Um what kind of style you’re going to Get so Generico this used to be called Hoven you might have seen this on labels Previously there was a recent change in

Ryoka wine law and they changed the uh Just changed the name of this this uh Category without changing uh any of the Other rules really Um Generico has no minimum aging Requirements and these wines are Typically going to be released without Any Oak maturation without any time Spent in bottle and they’re going to be Fruity and not showing any obvious uh Oak Aromas so all the red fruits that We’re familiar with from Tempe Neo Um If we age our wines for some time in Barrel Um we will have a cranza so this is our Wines that must have some Oak aging okay So we’ll see all the red fruits but We’ll also see some of that Oak Aroma The vanilla kind of spice that we are Familiar with from Oak Barrels in our Creanza ones Reserva wines are wines that need to Spend a significant time maturing in Barrel and in Bottle uh before they’re Allowed to be released Um and they will now start seeing kind Of dried fruit aroma so like prunes Dried red plums uh maybe cooked Strawberries will be present in a Reserva wine Um that’s uh you’ll find And Grand Reserve these are quite often Considered the finest uh quality in

Um in ryoka Um must be aged for the longest minimum Amount of uh time and these are the Wines that even before the wines are Released to the public to enjoy we’ll be Showing these more complex Savory Aromas Like mushroom which may not on the whole Sound particularly enjoyable but trust Me uh when in combination of all the Lovely fruity flavors and the spicy Aromas can give you a beautiful complex Um wine with with lots of flavor Um and and lots of quality as well All right so there’s our our quick Whistle Stop around tempranio Um so our next great variety I wanted to Talk about is is garnacha and garnetta Is actually one of the world’s most Planted varieties Um uh and it is known more commonly with From its kind of French name which is Grenache Um but it’s actually originally a Spanish grape variety that crossed the Pyrenees Um and uh and the French took credit for It I suppose when it was kind of planted In countries like Australia and South Africa and and other places Um is Spain’s second most planted Black Grape variety after Um after tempranio It also has lots of abundant red fruit Flavors very fruity indeed our ganacha

Wines so loads of red fruits cherries Plums Etc Um it has relatively low levels of Acidity Um so it’s not as refreshing with that Kind of Um refreshing acidity that Um temprano or other grape varieties Might have And it has low to medium levels of Tannin Um so lower levels of tannin than Tempranera as well what it does have However Um grenatcha gets wines with real full Body Um and quite high alcohol as well Um so they are they yeah you can get Some really nice soft fruity quite Rich Styles of wine uh from garnacha is often Blended it’s Blended often with Tempranillo Um to to create wines with with more Complexity where it adds body to Tempranio based wines and and extra Levels of fruitiness tempranino adds a Bit more acidity and tannin for example Uh and ganache as I said is the second Most planted grape Variety in Spain so It’s going to be planted in a huge Number of of uh areas and regions Um in rioca um it is used as the one of The main kind of blending uh friends of Tempranio to make those tempranino based

Wines uh where it gives like I said Those extra levels of fruity notes and Um and and some body and richness to our Wines Navara is the region uh just to the east Of ryoka Um and they make red wines in a very Similar style to riocca Um but um quite often a more Approachable price point which is very Good for some consumers Um so we’re still going to see lots of Tempranio and garnacha based red wines And often they will have similar kind of Age statements that we’ll see in Rio With reserves in Grand Reserves Etc Navarre is also home to Um a a source I should say sorry of Fantastic rose wines now gone actually With its beautiful kind of fruiting uh Aromas lots of red fruit flavors is a Really fantastic choice for dry roses Where those ripe strawberry flavors can Be shown off in a different style of Wine as well so Navara if you like roses Is is a fantastic place to go Now our final reason for garnetta that I Wanted to talk about is pre-wrap Um it’s inside catalunia Um and not far away from Barcelona it’s A very mountainous Um region Um and similar to Roberto Duro this kind Of altitude helps kind of

Give us like really intense fruity Flavors in our garnacha more so than in Some other regions so we can see some Really powerful garnacha based Wines in Prayer rats that have really long aging Potential and very very high quality Wines indeed Um so a place to check out if if you Like that grape variety A fine or great variety of of those First free that I wanted to discuss is Albino because I wanted to talk about Um a white grape variety and a white Grape variety that has really kind of Blossomed in popularity in the last Well in my experience in the last 10 Plus years I suppose Um it is a great variety that has really Fantastic levels of acidity making it Really refreshing Um and it has very ripe citrus fruit Flavors as well and this means it’s a It’s an easy wine to pair with food Especially food that might be fatty or Or high in acid itself Um uh I’m not the best chef in the world So I’m not going to go further than that But I can help with some food pairing if Anyone has any questions Um but yeah something really nice and Like maybe some fried foods fried fish Or something like that to be really Um really help cut through fatty notes Of these kind of dishes and it’s also

Fantastic to drink as Um uh kind of an imperative or just on Its own because it’s incredibly Refreshing and and delicious Uh now albrino is pretty localized it’s Not grown throughout Spain like the two Black grape varieties uh we we’ve been Uh showing to you So albertino is a great variety it’s Native to Galicia which is in the far Northwest of Spain Um it’s also widely grown in Northern Portugal just on the other side of the Border where it is known as alvarino so The bee is replaced with a uh with a v Um uh so alvarino Um inside Galicia there is one very Noted region Not easy to pronounce I’m probably made An absolute murder of that pronunciation So apologies if uh your Spanish is Better than mine uh so riased us Um here we are seeing a region that has A real reputation for very high quality Albertino Um we get this kind of cooling effect From the Atlantic Ocean and this really Helps preserve the acidity in our wines Making wines from albrino here even more Refreshing Um than than others that you can find Okay Um so that’s our kind of great varieties For steel wines but Spain isn’t just

Kind of making steel wines or or light Wines Um Spain is the second largest exporter Of sparkling wines in the world Um after France which takes pole Position And the vast majority of Spanish Sparkling wines Um are Carver Excuse me And and Carver as a category isn’t Necessarily Um centralized in one place in fact There’s many regions that are permitted To make Carver wines including ryoka uh Although ryoka doesn’t make a a large Amount of sparkling ones it is noted for Making some really high quality ones The the vast majority overwhelming Majority of Carver is made in Catalunya Uh not far away from Barcelona in the Kind of mountainous regions just in land Um the the mountainous kind of regions Here Help cool the climate and help preserve Acidity the Wine’s natural acidity that Makes the sparkling wines here Um extra refreshing Um we’re going to use uh several Different local grape varieties in the Production of of Carver Um and these great varieties are going To give us nice kind of ripe Apple Flavors and lemon flavors

It’s also going to be made in the Traditional method which is the exact Same method that is used in champagne in Northern France where the wines need to Be matured with the yeast that were used To ferment it for a minimum of nine Months many producers going Uh for much longer time frames than that And this is going to give the wines a Subtle kind of bready Aroma that’s going To be very attractive when we’ve paired With those kind of fresh Um Apple lemon kind of flavors from the Local grape varieties Um so Carver yeah there’s many many Different qualities levels of Carver Um it it is generally speaking really Affordable and fantastic value for money As well so a real great choice if you’re Fans of sparkling wines to to check out And enjoy Um And then finally I wanted to talk about Fortified wines as well because Spain is Home to one of the world’s kind of Classic fortified wines Um in southern Spain and Andalucia Um is uh herres and the anglicized Version of jerez uh is is Sherry and Sherry is A a hugely important kind of fortified Wine category Uh fortification is the addition of high Strength alcohol

Uh to to wines And historically this was done to kind Of preserve wines that would have been Shipped across the world on on ships uh Obviously uh shipped across the world to Help preserve them for their long ocean Um uh voyages okay Um but then it was everyone was enjoying These wines Um and and so even today with the Advent Of kind of much more rapid uh Transportation or temperature control Transportation it’s still a very very Popular style Um Sherry is made from white grapes And it’s typically a dry fortified wine Um however some sweetened examples can Be found so you can find cherries that Are of of different levels of sweetness Uh to suit your Um your your palate Um there are really funky and Interesting ways of maturing Sherry Um that can lead to uh like kind of Different styles so there’s fresher Styles that are fruitier that have Flavors of lemon and apples and almonds To more kind of oxidized styles of Sherry that are almost brown in color uh And taste of kind of like toffee and Walnuts so Um check them out there it’s quite an Experience I’m not gonna lie it might be An acquired taste for some but for many

Of you out there it will be the most Fantastic thing you’ve ever tried uh and And worth worth uh worth checking out Um all right so uh that’s that’s uh That’s all I really wanted to discuss With you guys really Um So I’ll just say thank you very much for For joining me this afternoon there will Be a feedback poll that will appear uh Shortly if if uh and Um a recording of this uh there he is Amazing uh and a recording of this Session uh will be emailed to everyone As well and as I said earlier will be Available uh on the wsct uh events Hub On on YouTube where you can catch up on All our previous events as well Um if you are interested in signing up For any of our qualifications I cannot Uh encourage you enough it’s fantastic Please go to our uh where to study page On the wsct global uh website and if You’ve enjoyed this as well I’ll be Doing more of a similar kind of kind of Dive into regions of of certain wine Producing countries so in January on the 24th I’ll be doing a similar webinar on Italian wine regions May the 9th uh We’ll be looking at France and then July Fourth independence day we’ll be looking At the good old us of a so put those in Your diary and sign up I’d love to see You there

Um have we got any questions let’s have A little look Uh so Thomas Blended temprano is a Creanza so those different age Categories Um uh in term in in ryoko wines that They you could have single variety Tempranio that would be an aged kind of Statement creanza reserver or you can Have Blended temporary so the you do Have some freedom to to create the style Of wine that you desire they’re Typically going to be Um They’re simply going to be Um Uh yeah typically gonna be Blended they Wouldn’t be labeled as such quite often Producers will be will be nice and give You the kind of breakdown of you know This is 85 tempranio and 15 you know Um uh XYZ A similar question about Roberto Del Duro and ryoka uh having laboring rules Yes so the uh Roberto durarro also has Creanzas also has Um also has Grand Reserves reserves uh And a lot of these labeling terms will Be copied in other Um in other regions as well So yeah these These are are copied in Other regions as well uh and then Dylan A fantastic question Um we’d love to know the difference in

Aromas between rioca Alta and Baja uh Yes I reoffer itself Um is actually split into sub zones and Then those sub zones are split into uh Villages that can have their name on the Label as well so it gets even more Complicated than trust me than I I’ll go Into today but uh ryoka Alta uh to the Uh west of LA grono the kind of Um the main Hub of ryoka Um is higher in altitude and like Roberto Del duero that’s higher altitude Is going to help preserve the acidity by Giving us cooler nights Um and uh that’s going to give us many People think this gives a higher quality Temperature but ryoko Baja which Actually has changed its name uh so Ryoka Baja is now called ryoka oriental Uh orientaling meaning to the east Baja Meaning low uh so they gave a little PR Boost to ryoka Baha because they didn’t Want their wines to be known as low as In low quality all it meant was low in Elevation it was much lower uh closer to Sea level so they’ve changed it to the Rocky around Hotel because uh they Wanted to basically show off the fact That they also make fantastic wines but Uh the rioca Oriental as known as Baraka Baja is more Fame for garnacha which Prefers the heat tempranio potentially Making a higher quality wines and Slightly cooler environments I hope

That’s answered your question not gone Too over the top uh has anyone got any Other questions What other quality great varieties are Still popular in Spain oh God uh Monasterel if I was gonna talk about Another great variety monasterel Um in kind of the Mediterranean coast of Sprain Um uh is is absolutely fantastic Um Uh So that would be another great variety It’s a black grape variety that gives Really nice dark fruit flavors as Opposed to the red fruit flavors that We’ve seen in the great varieties of Today Um check out other white wines if you Like why grape varieties verdejo in a Region called Um brawada just a little bit to the west Of Um Roberto Del duero on the banks of the Duero river is a fantastic style they Can have really nice lime Aromas uh High Acids and Um refreshing or you can have more Oak Aged Fuller bodied Expressions as well Um Can you tell us something about the Maturana and Toronto’s a tarantes gripe Now I’ve had some fantastic matarana Bianco recently from a ryoka producer it

Was a great variety that almost went Extinct in rioca but is getting a few Champions Um behind it and the wine was absolutely Fantastic lots of kind of peachy Aromas And some floral notes and then I must Confess I do not know the Toronto’s grapes but There’s many great varieties in Spain uh That I haven’t tried that gives me Um something to look forward to so uh Check it out yourself and and let me Know I’ll be fascinated and I’ll give it A go as well Um and then the 16 Vitalis expected to Be labeled uh you don’t require I I Haven’t tried that one sounds delicious Um Rubera Um Andrea don’t require labeling these Traditional labeling terms Um that’s Um Uh it’s it’s voluntary if you want to do That Um and many producers Um Don’t necessarily want to use the old School way of doing things uh so it’s It’s completely up to them but um Generally speaking the wines will be of A great quality so enjoy Um and then what’s my favorite red and White wine you put me on the spot

Friends I don’t know Um so uh I had a lovely Riesling Um Couple of days ago so uh I might go for That for my white wine it was a German Riesling and then I had a Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon uh called The Don Matsumano can’t afford it but it was Very nice Um so luckily that was in a class of Mine so I got to take um a quarter of a Bottle home with me and enjoy with my Dinner the other day so uh yeah that’s That’s about the end uh uh so a little About the other grapes in rioca graciano Um Graziano is a great variety Um that produces wines that have really High levels of acidity really high Levels of tannins and it can also give Really nice kind of Um black fruit Aromas which is again Different to the ganacha and the Tempranio wine ziriocca so graciano is Is usually thought of as um a grave Variety that you put into Blends in only Small doses maybe like five to ten Percent is that that’s the kind of Realms Um and it can be useful to give it like A bit of a kick a bit more power to our Tempranio wines that might have moderate Levels Um of Um acidity and tannins and that graciano

Can give it a bit of a bit of a punch a Bit more power Cool anymore All right In that case I think we might be done so I’d like to say thank you again to Everyone and um Hope you have a lovely Lovely rest of your day take care

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