Now that Spain has lifted international travel restrictions on UK travellers and removed the COVID-19 testing requirement for arrivals, the country is back at the top of the list for British holidaymakers. The weather is just right for a wine-tasting vacation in one of the charming wine regions of Spain, exploring vineyards, and indulging in oenophilic experiences. The country is one of the largest wine exporters in the world and offers plenty by way of wine tourism. From sun-drenched Cava country to green Galicia, Ideal Wine Company recommends five must-visit wine towns in Spain for your next holiday.
Haro, La Rioja
The famous Rioja region in Spain has about 60,000 hectares of vineyards that produce delicious wine, some of which you may have tasted and enjoyed. Haro, one of the main towns in the region, is home to some of the best wineries of La Rioja. A few of the bodegas you should visit here are Bodegas Muga, Bodegas López de Heredia, and the Bodegas Bilbainas. The famous Batalla del Vino wine fight also takes place in Haro every year at the end of June. The wines of the region are chiefly deep reds with fruity flavours, produced from the native Tempranillo grape.
Jerez de la Frontera, Andalusia
A little over an hour’s drive from Seville is the small town of Jerez de la Frontera, in the heartland of the Andalusian region. It is part of Spain’s famous Sherry Triangle, along with El Puerto de Santa María and Sanlúcar de Barrameda. Owing to its location at the heart of the country’s sherry producing region, the town is crowded with bodegas where you can buy sherry wine by the glass straight from the barrel. The view of the Jerez vineyards from the top of the Alcázar fortress in the early mornings and evenings is alone worth the trip.
Rías Baixas with its aromatic Albariño is one of Spain’s top wine destinations. To explore the adjacent wine regions, camp in the Galician town of Pontevedra, also the confluence of four estuarine inlets meeting the Atlantic Ocean. The fertile area is well-known for its superior dry whites. The fruity and floral wines beautifully complement the region’s fresh seafood. Bodegas Morgadio is one of the best wineries in Pontevedra. You can also visit the vineyards of sub-appellations like Val do Salnés, home of Martín Códax wines.
Vilafranca del Penedès, Catalonia
Not far from Barcelona, Penedès is Catalonia’s largest wine region. It has a history of innovative winemaking. It was the first region in Spain to use stainless steel equipment and cold-fermentation in the 1970s. Since then, the vintners here have been making a variety of fine modern blends, from dry whites to deep reds, sparkling wines and rosés to sweet dessert wines. These are made from Xarel·lo, Macabeo and Parellada grapes. The variety of altitudes and microclimates help the different varieties to flourish.
The main wine town in Penedès is the small Vilafranca del Penedès. It has a wine museum. There are many fun-filled wine traditions here, such as the Fil Loxera Festival in September, which celebrates the end of the 19th-century phylloxera plague on the local vineyards. A side trip to Sant Sadurní d’Anoia is a good opportunity to explore the birthplace of the Spanish Cava.
Aranda de Duero, Castilla y León
The Ribera del Duero is the principal wine community of Castilla y León. The small town of Aranda de Duero lies at the centre of this ‘quality wine’ producing region along the Duero River. The vineyards appear along the river banks or on the rocky northern plateau. The wines here were once made from imported Bordeaux vines, but the region is now one of the premier indigenous red-wine producers in Spain. Among the best wineries to visit in Aranda de Duero are Bodega y Viñedos Martín Berdugo and Bodegas Histórica Don Carlos.