Not many people are aware of the fact that Spain is the third-largest wine producer in all of Europe and the world, behind only France and Italy. The reason why Spanish wine is not so well known is that most of the thirty five billion liters of wine produced in Spain each year from the close to three million acres of vineyards goes for local consumption, with the average Spaniard drinking close to forty liters of wine every year. Today, ShMadrid will tell you a bit more on Madrid’s wine culture.
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Most of the country wines come from the Rioja and Ribera Del Duero regions, situated to the south of the Cantabrian Mountains along the Ebro river, which has the most ideal climate for growing grapes. Other regions where first class Spanish wines are produced are the Valdepeñas region, which one of Spain’s most famous guests Ernest Hemingway was a great lover of, and the Andalusian region of Cádiz, where Spanish sherries are produced and exported over the world. Most of Spain’s white wines are produced in the northwest of the country, in the Galicia region. Whatever the variety or color of the wine, one thing that is for sure is that a very large proportion of it will be making its way to the restaurants, pavement cafes, wine bars and stores in the city of Madrid.
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Once you have settled into your new home or holiday accommodation, newcomers to Madrid can join in with the locals for an evening tasting of Spain’s finest wines served in Madrid’s traditional wine taverns, some of which date back more than three or four hundred years, where they can taste a selection of some of the finest wines produced in Spain, and begin to understand why Madridleños love to drink their locally produced wines, and why they are so anxious to keep them a secret. Better still, you can take part in one of the many organized tours leaving from Madrid almost daily to the various wine cultivation regions of the country, visit a number of local wineries, learn a little about how good wine is produced and taste it almost straight from the vines.
What do you think about Spanish wines? Do you have a favourite wine region?