The Spanish Vineyard Revolution. What is it and how is it measured? Centuries of winemaking history and an undisputed importance in traditional Spanish cuisine have created a colorful, varied wine culture. In this EL PAÍS article, modern Spanish wine is said to have exploded onto the scene in 1985, when Spain joined the European Union with its accompanying free movement of ideas, products and services.
With Spain’s now legendary status among food and wine connoisseurs, the credit is in large due to “several generations of entrepreneurs resuscitating old vineyards, nurturing them with patience and care and making great wine in the most unlikely places – including the Balearic and Canary Islands – on steep hillsides and on wasteland where nothing but the long-suffering vine could possibly survive.” But what was it like? How did many view wine and wine culture? “Less than 100 years earlier, the outlook had been bleak. While the Phylloxera blight had destroyed Spanish vineyards towards the end of the 19th century, the Civil War, hunger and an exodus to the cities later reduced Spanish wine to mediocrity. In the Catalan region of Priorat, the land used for vineyards dropped from 17,000 hectares at the end of the 19th century to just 600 by the 1980s. In the post-war period, vineyards were a regulated, subsistence crop. They provided an alternative to cereals.”
To read more about how Spanish wines have created a pure reflection of the land, its history and the climate, click here.