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Vino Común

Spanish designation (also Vino Corriente) for a mostly cheap, very simple wine that is not bottled. See under Spain.

The parliamentary hereditary monarchy of Spain (officially the Kingdom of Spain) with its capital Madrid is a state on the Iberian Peninsula in south-west Europe. The national territory covers 505,970 km² and is divided into 17 autonomous regions. There are borders to the west with Portugal and to the north-east with France, separated by the 430 km long Pyrenees mountain range (in which the dwarf state of Andorra lies). Spain also includes the large archipelagos of the Balearic Islands (with the main island of Majorca) in the Mediterranean and the Canary Islands (including Tenerife and Lanzarote) in the Atlantic, as well as the two autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla on the North African coast as enclaves in or with a border with Morocco. Several islands located directly off the Moroccan coast also belong to Spain. Viticulture is practised in all regions of the country and also to a greater extent on the Balearic and Canary Islands.

Spanien - Karte mit Regionen

History

Viticulture in Spain has an ancient tradition, as vines were cultivated here at least around 5,000 years ago. The Phoenicians founded the city of Gadir (now Cadiz) around 1100 BC and traded wine extensively in the Mediterranean region. The first heyday came in 200 BC, when the Romans favoured wine from Baetica (Andalusia). This development was halted by the Moorish invasion in 711. For religious reasons, the Muslims cleared large parts of the vineyards or only allowed the production of sultanas. They brought with them the art of distillation, which was not used for alcoholic drinks, but for essential oils, as fragrances and flavourings.

It was not until 700 years later that the Christians succeeded in reconquering the land (Reconquista) and, as they advanced southwards, they planted new vineyards. At that time, there were many kingdoms, including Aragon, Asturias, Galicia, León and Castile. The all-encompassing Kingdom of Spain was then founded in 1516 by Charles I, later Emperor Charles V (1500-1558).

Colonial period

As in many other countries, it was mostly Catholic monastic orders that planted vines near their monasteries for the production of mass wine. In the centuries that followed, viticulture developed into an important economic and export sector. After the discovery of America in 1492 by Christopher Columbus (1451-1506), the first colonies were established in the New World. The Spanish conquistadores subsequently planted vines from their homeland in the colonies. Among them was Listán Prieto, which originated from Castile-La Mancha. Under the name Mission (Misión), this became the progenitor of many so-called Criolla varieties, especially in Central America and South America, thus initiating viticulture on this continent.

Modern times

In the second half of the 19th century, as in all European countries, phylloxera invaded Spain and destroyed a large part of the vineyards. However, the Rioja region was spared for the time being and by the time the pest reached this area at the beginning of the 20th century, most of the vineyards had already been planted with grafted vines. The French were no longer able to meet the demand for wine in their own country due to the vineyards destroyed by phylloxera. At first, French merchants bought large quantities of wine in Spain, and later many French winegrowers emigrated to Spain and began cultivating wine. Their sophisticated cellar technology has had a lasting impact on viticulture to this day.

Between July 1936 and April 1939, a civil war broke out between the democratically elected government of the Second Spanish Republic and the right-wing putschists under General Francisco Franco (1892-1975). During this time, vineyards and many wineries were destroyed on a large scale. After the opening of the borders and accession to the European Union in 1986, Spanish viticulture experienced a new beginning. From the 1960s onwards, a great boom began with the typical Spanish wines Rioja and Sherry. Today, Spain is one of the most dynamic wine-producing countries in the world.

Soil & climate

Spain is one of the most mountainous countries in Europe. The western mountain ranges are largely made up of metamorphic and crystalline rock. Slate is the most common parent rock of the country's best vineyards. This occurs mainly on the Catalan coast, in the highlands of Priorato, in the Rioja region and in the Douro port wine region. In large areas of the lowlands in the north and east, the parent rock consists of sediments. In the coastal regions, light, sometimes sandy soils dominate. In the sherry region of Jerez, the highly calcareous Albariza soil can be found. The Canary Islands, on the other hand, are of volcanic origin.

The country is criss-crossed by several large bodies of water with a positive influence on viticulture. These are mainly the Ebro and Duero in the north, the Tagus in the west, the Guadiana in the south and the Júcar and Turia in the east. Spain is divided into three main climate zones. In "green Spain" in the north with Aragon, Asturias, the Basque Country, Galicia, Cantabria, Catalonia, Navarre and La Rioja, there is a high level of...

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