As Spanish wines grow in popularity, you may find yourself reaching for the same few bottles — or sticking to the same few regions — time and again. While there’s nothing wrong with having some solid go-to favorites, we wouldn’t want you to miss out on the rich diversity of Spain’s wines. Centuries of winemaking history and an undisputed importance in traditional Spanish cuisine have created a colorful, varied wine culture throughout the country.
Did you know that every one of Spain’s regions has something to offer? Here are some overlooked Spanish wine regions whose wines deserve to be on your Must-Taste list:
Located in the Lleida province, Costers del Segre produces a series of high quality wines with great character. Here, the wineries are some of the most innovative and sustainable in Spain. A semi-arid Catalan region, Costers del Segre is also more inland than most other Catalan wine regions. Both indigenous and international grape varieties can be found growing in the regions, including whites such as Albariño, Garnacha Blanca, and Chardonnay and reds like Tempranillo, Garnacha, and Cabernet.
This Catalan region is famous for Cava, but Penedès is also home to stellar still wines. Its winemaking roots go back to the Ancient Romans, a legacy that can be seen in the Roman-era wine presses at the Wine Museum of Vilafranca del Penedès. Today, the white variety Xarel-lo is the flagship grape of this region, a common variety used in Cava but also a grape to try in dry, still whites.
In southeast Spain, cacti share the hillsides with grapevines. This desert region produces the full-bodied Monastrell (aka Mourvedre), made from thick-skinned, drought tolerant grapes that are native to Spain. This delicious, powerful red wine is undervalued right now, so grab a bottle before the secret gets out!
Geographically located within the larger D.O. Jerez in southern Spain, this designation was created exclusively for recognizing Manzanilla Sherry. This fortified wine is aged under a layer of living yeast known in Spanish as “flor” in the special microclimate around the town of Sanlúcar. Pick up a bottle of Manzanilla for a surprising dinner pairing—it’s perfect with fish, seafood, and vegetable-based dishes.