Wine is believed to have been introduced to Spain between 4000 and 3000 BC. The Phoenicians kicked the oenophilia into overdrive a couple thousand years after and then the Romans took it to the next level. Today, the biggest influence on the Spanish wine industry might be the European Union who imposed some order on their AOC system. Now, the Iberian nation classifies their juice via five tier system. At the top, one finds the DOCa wines followed by the DO wines. At the bottom is Vino de Mesa or table wine.

Tempranillo is probably the most well known varietal produced in the region. Cava and Sherry are Spain’s famed twists on the classic beverage and Rioja is undoubtedly the area’s signature region. However, there are plenty of lesser known options to explore and they are not hard to find– Spain is the world’s third largest wine exporter.

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