Spain

Vines have been grown successfully in Spain since approximately 3000 BC and it is currently the third largest producer of wine in the world. Despite having a larger surface area of vineyards than Italy or France, the production is lower due to old vines and a harsher climate. Spain’s saving grace from a viticultural perspective is the average altitude of the vineyards at over 600 metres. It is this which allows the production of grapes with good levels of colour and acidity because the overnight temperatures are relatively low and grapes do not ripen until the end of a usefully prolonged growing season. Rioja is Spain’s most famous wine region, situated in the North with its name deriving from The River Oja. At the opposite end of the country in the sunny south is the town of Jerez de la Frontera in Andalucía, which is home to the world-famous fortified wine made from Palamino grapes, Sherry.
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