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Spain

Wine-growing in Spain has an ancient tradition, as vines were already cultivated 3000 years before Christ. The Phoenicians founded the city of Gadir (Cádiz) around 1100 B.C. and carried on lively trade in wine in the Mediterranean. The first flourishing was in 200 B.C., because the Romans loved the wine from Baetica (Andalusia). The development was stopped by the invasion of the Moors in 711. For religious reasons the Muslims cleared large parts of the vineyards or only allowed the production of raisins. They brought with them the art of distillation, but this was not used for alcoholic drinks, but essential oils, as perfumes and fragrances. Only after 700 years did the Christians succeed in reconquering and with the advance to the south they planted new vineyards. As in many other countries, it was mostly Catholic monastic orders who planted vines near their monasteries for the preparation of mass wine. In the following centuries, viticulture developed into an important economic and export branch. From the beginning of the 16th century, the conquistadors brought huge quantities of wine to the newly discovered America. The Spaniards planted European vines in many areas and thus initiated viticulture on this continent, especially in Central and South America. They thus made a significant contribution in many countries of the New World.

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