It may be Spain’s most renowned region, but there’s a lot more to the country’s wine output than Rioja. This week in #HandpickedDrinks, we’re going beyond Rioja’s famous reds – and whites – to bring you a clutch of lesser-known Spanish styles.
East of Rioja, on the Mediterranean coast, you’ll find Catalonia, source of a diverse range of styles. Penedes may be better known for producing sparkling Cava, but as you’ll see from the (still) Xarel-lo below, made from 80-year-old vines, it offers much more. Then there’s a perfumed but punchy red Garnacha (aka Grenache) along with an intriguing white garnacha from Catalonia’s southernmost region Terra Alta. And not forgetting the small-but-mighty appellation of Priorat, the only Spanish region besides Rioja to be granted DOCa status.
Further south, we’ve got an excellent rendering of Rioja’s signature Tempranillo from Pago Florentino, one of Spain’s estate-specific Vino de Pagos (a classification for higher quality wines) located some 150km south of Madrid.