Tag: spanish wine

8 Keys to understanding how Brexit might affect the wine industry from a Spanish perspective


Almost a month since the ‘no’ came from the UK to Europe, the most immediate response in consequences on the economy was the low level of the pound.

The time passed since the referendum has inspired one to envision various possible economic scenarios, especially in the field of food and wine, in which the UK has a primary role as a buyer.

Consequences for the export of Spanish and European wine

Following the referendum, it has opened a horizon of difficult questions for the future. The question is how Brexit will affect the economy? The truth is that it is difficult and complicated to try to provide an answer, although we can highlight some keys to try approach the question.

1. Lowering of the purchase power of the British people. If there is a factor that may affect the current export of wine, we are at the lowest concerning consumption capacity of the English as a result from a weak pound. If this trend is maintained in the future, it could ultimately affect the export of wine to the UK.

2. More depreciation of the pound against the dollar than against the euro. According to information published by the Spanish Observatory Wine Market (OEMV), the pound has depreciated more against the dollar than against the euro, so in this sense, could affect the  Americans wine industry more than the European wine industry. And this, a priori, could be positive for the Spanish and European market.

3. Free trade Tradition and raw material shortages. It is unlikely that the United Kingdom decides to impose new tariffs on European products because of its need for raw materials and its pro-free trade political tradition. Thus, given the circumstances, these two factors could facilitate exchange agreements.

4. The time needed for negocación of new trade relations. As pointed out in the article Brexit for wine lovers, published on Jancisrobinson.com, renegotiating agreements with the United Kingdom as a third country could take up to a decade, considering that within two years it will be necessary to determine the legal precepts from the United Kingdom. Therefore, a span this long could ultimately affect exports.

5. A healthy economy in Spanish wine exports. Despite the uncertainty, the current situation regarding Spanish wine exports to the UK is good, especially in terms of value. Thus, while the future is unclear, the Spanish market is in a good position, which can help offset possible negative effects.

In this sense, according to figures OEMV 2015, Spain exported to the UK a total 159.3 million liters of wine worth 343 million euros, representing an increase of 0.1% in terms of volume and 0.5% in terms of value. In fact, over the past 20 years, the average annual growth was 3.3% in volume and 4.9% in value. We can say, therefore, that the UK is buying Spanish wine, and does so with a growing trend of wines with O.D.

6. Competitive advantage in the price of Spanish wine. Although France, Italy, and Portugal top the list of wine suppliers to the UK, the fact is that the prices of Spanish wines are more competitive than those of other countries, a factor that undoubtedly plays a role for them. By contrast, wine of Burgundy which has been more costly since 2012 and that due to the adverse conditions of the current crop, could do even more- it would be most affected by the loss of purchase power of the English population.

Consequences from the English point of view

The consequences of Brexit, however, may not only affect exports, but also domestic business and exports from the United Kingdom.

7. Boost for English wine. For example, according to the analysis of Brexit for Wine lovers, producers of English wine could benefit from a hypothetical increase in the price of European wine, as they could position itself as a cheaper alternative for British consumers. Due to the fact of having more attractive prices, English wines could also gain a better position in the international market.

8. Loss of advantageous agreements for other industries. Although we have spoken mainly of wine, we can not forget that there is another large industry that could be affected in the medium and long term: namely the whiskey industry.

According to the specialized portal The Drinks Business in late June, the Scotch Whisky Association, they conceive the single European market as “a key to the success of Scotch” and for giants like Diageo and Pernod Ricard which voted to stay, the industry has substantially benefited from free trade agreements with South Korea, Vietnam, and Colombia. It is unclear, therefore, what will be the situation of the industry following the departure from the EU.

A lot at stake, a lot to decide

To conclude, if anything is clear, is that with so much at stake, decisions that will be taken at a high level will not be easy. The coming months will be decisive for the future, but the view must be set already and change is coming. Future scenarios, although not catastrophic, still represent a challenge for the wine- and spirit sector.

Wines from Binissalem-Mallorca: how are they?


All wines with Designation of Origin Binissalem-Mallorca are distinguished by characteristics given by native varieties in the area and mixing with foreign varieties.

The most cultivated varieties are:

  • Inks: black Manto (main variety grown), Callet, Tempranillo, Monastrell, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot.
  • White: Moll or Prensal (main variety grown), Giró ros, Macabeo, Parellada, Chardonnay and Moscatel.

All certified wines must be made from grape varieties produced in the wine region of the Designation of Origin Binissalem-Mallorca and comply with the rules established in the Regulations of the Designation of Origin.

General characteristics of the wines:

  • Young wines are white wines, rosé, red or sparkling whose period of aging in oak barrels do not reach the minimum time required for reserva and gran reserva categories.
  • The red wines are classified in young or crianza, reserva and gran reserva. For its preparation 30% of the variety should be Black Mantle and a maximum of 30% of the variety Gorgollassa must be used.
  • White wines: can be dry or sweet. For its elaboration, 50% of the native Moll or Prensal Blanc or 50% of Muscatel must be used.
  • Rosé wines: for its elaboration, any authorized variety by the Regulation and a maximum of 30% of the Gorgollassa variety  need to be used.
  • The white sparkling wines: Must be at least 50% of the native white variety Moll.
  • Pink sparkling wines: can be made from any variety authorized with a maximum of 30% of the variety Gorgollassa.

The time periods of aging red wines are:

  • Crianza: They must have a minimum period of aging of 24 months, of which 6 must have passed in oak barrels.
  • Reserva: They must have a minimum period of aging of 36 months, of which 12 must be spent in oak barrels and bottles the rest of the time.
  • Gran Reserva: They must have minimum aging period of 60 months, which should be spent, at least, 18 in oak barrels, and the rest in bottles.

 TAGS:Veritas Vinyes Velles 2012Veritas Vinyes Velles 2012

Veritas Vinyes Velles 2012: a red wine with Binissalem-Mallorca DO made with 2012 grapes and with an alcoholic strength of 15º. 



 TAGS:Macià Batle Rosado 2015Macià Batle Rosado 2015

Macià Batle Rosado 2015: a rosé wine with Binissalem-Mallorca DO harvested in 2015 and 13º of alcohol strength.



How has wine consumption changed over the last years?


The food market grows at a very fast pace and today, consumers have become a lot more demanding towards this market including the world of wine. Let’s take a look at how trends have changed over the past years!

Customers want what’s best: Because of the huge amount of information that has been put out there online over the last years, consumers become more demanding each day. They know exactly what they need and want, especially in terms of quality.

The new generation: With the rising of social networks and blogs, a lot of new consumers are influenced by content, comments and feedback they get from these social networks. They don’t have a deep understanding of the wine industry, but they are fast learners and become very demanding clients. They’re usually young people that look for specific products and new vintages.

Marketplace: According to studies conducted by SymphonyIRI, consumers don’t go to wineries anymore to purchase a product. Instead, they have become more practical and prefer to buy wine in supermarkets, specialized grocery stores, food boutiques, and other convenient stores. Also, online purchasing is a rather new trend that has been growing fast over the years.

Consumption place: Additionally, the place where people drink has changed radically. From the restaurant, consumers have moved to local bars, neighborhood parties, casual meetings and cultural events where they usually get to compare different tastes of wine.

Brand drinkers: Since a lot new consumers don’t really understand the “science” behind the consumption of wine, they have been considered “brand drinkers”. These consumers use to always ask and drink a certain type of wine because it belongs to a recognized region or just because it is advertised everywhere.

 TAGS:Tarima 2014Tarima 2014

Tarima 2014: a red wine from Alicante DO of Bodegas Volver cellar with a blend based on Monastrell of 2014 and with an alcoholic strength of 14.5º. 



 TAGS:Viña Ardanza Reserva 2005Viña Ardanza Reserva 2005

Viña Ardanza Reserva 2005: a red wine with DO Rioja produced with tempranillo and Garnacha from the 2005 vintage and 13.5º of alcohol content. 



Australia: the country where growth dreams will be fulfilled


If there is a country that knows no crisis, that is Australia. The economy seems to flow and new business opportunities open to other countries. So, even if it’s far away, it is not surprising that some Spanish companies have decided to expand borders and perform studies about the country and its demand.

While Australia is a producer of wines from different appellations and key axis of the market in different regions, Spanish wine can be a good product to export to the country, because it seems that growth will be exponential in the coming years.

For this reason and many others, the country’s riches are constant and some business organizations know it, helping Spanish companies to export to Australia. An example is what the Trade Promotion Institute of Castilla-La Mancha (IPEX) states, organizing a trade mission of agrifood producers to the Australian fair of wine and beer. The event will take place in Melbourne from August 31 to September 2, and in the city of Sydney, on September 7.

Two key dates for Spanish companies to make themselves known, to explore the territory and do business in one of the lands of more expansion worldwide. Thanks to this trade mission, trade agendas and the intervention of these in showrooms and tasting areas will be called for Spanish food and drinks companies.

Those skilled in this matter predict that the Spanish product is largely untapped in the country and that is really fashionable, so it is an excellent opportunity to open borders for some of the Spanish companies. But not everything are good news: Spaniards may face some obstacles, such as the distance between countries and also the entry restrictions on products and services that the country is imposing, while they can be overcome successfully.

 TAGS:Viña Ardanza Reserva 2007Viña Ardanza Reserva 2007

Viña Ardanza Reserva 2007: a red wine with Rioja DO which blend contains tempranillo and garnacha of 2007 and presents an alcohol content of 13.5º.



 TAGS:Pruno 2013Pruno 2013

Pruno 2013: a red wine of the Ribera del Duero DO is made with tempranillo and cabernet sauvignon of 2013 and with 13.5º of alcohol content.



Spanish harvest arrives earlier and shows promise


Each year these times, a somewhat global perspective of what may be the season of harvest of the year is given. Much of the current wine cellars predict that vintage will arrive earlier this year, but it will be much good.

High temperatures in recent months may be good or bad, depending on how you look. In this case, they are good to stop some vine diseases, with a strong expansion in the quality of its grapes. And it also makes some grapes to be ripe to be harvested.

Much of the Spanish win cellars say that the 2015 vintage will advance between 10 and 15 days on average, compared to the dates from other years. These high temperatures are ensuring an acceleration of vegetative growth. While some win cellars do not advance so much quality, saying that it will come forward, but it could be a normal year with no variation.

But others, like Pernod Ricard Winemakers Spain predict that the quality is now outstanding, so the cycle will be short. There is, therefore, an important advance of cycle.

It all depends on the different areas, because in the north it is true that usually it rains more, something important for some Galician wine cellars. As for the Rueda wine appellation of origin, seems that the harvest will be fine, but irrigation will be necessary. Something also needed in other areas.

They also foresee a high quality vintage in areas of Castilla y León. The appellation of origin in this area are numerous, with emphasis on those of Toro or Ribera del Duero. However, other areas fear the widespread of rising temperatures throughout the country on an ongoing basis, because this might set a remarkable lowering in production.

 TAGS:Pago de los Capellanes Crianza 2010Pago de los Capellanes Crianza 2010

Pago de los Capellanes Crianza 2010: a red wine from the Ribera del Duero DO is made with tempranillo and cabernet sauvignon of 2010 and 13.50º of volume of alcohol. 



 TAGS:Pinna Fidelis Roble 2013Pinna Fidelis Roble 2013

Pinna Fidelis Roble 2013: a red wine with Ribera del Duero DO with tinta del país of 2013 and with an alcoholic strength of 13,5º. 



Images: Uvinum and Abadia Retuerta

10 cheap (and quality) wines for a hard January


January comes, and after the Christmas holidays, your pocket is empty. Do not worry, you can keep buying quality and great flavored wine at affordable prices. Here you have some references to the dreaded ?January hill?. Take good note!

Paco Garcia Crianza 2010. A pure red that you could savor during the year 2015, thanks to its varieties of grapes, Tempranillo and Grenache. It has a Robert Parker score of 90 and you got it for £7.99.

 TAGS:Paco García Crianza 2010Paco García Crianza 2010

Paco García Crianza 2010



Urbion Cuvée 2010. A Rioja is a safe bet. Moreover, it is cool and pleasant, with high scores from Uvinum users and 90 at Robert Parker. Its price is outstanding, £3.33.

 TAGS:Urbion Cuvée 2010Urbion Cuvée 2010

Urbion Cuvée 2010



Flores de Callejo 2012. Write down on your wine list for the ?January hill? this Ribera del Duero. With a Peñín score of 88. It costs £5.46.

 TAGS:Flores de Callejo 2012Flores de Callejo 2012

Flores de Callejo 2012



Tarima 2012. The Monastrell variety is the protagonist of this wine, DO Alicante, with intense flavor. A perfect red wine for £4.71.

 TAGS:Tarima 2012Tarima 2012

Tarima 2012



Nisia Verdejo 2012. Quality, color and excellent flavor. Jorge Ordóñez & Co. produces a white Verdejo from DO Rueda, which scores no less than 95 points in the Peñín Guide. You can already purchase it for £7.28.

 TAGS:Nisia Verdejo 2012Nisia Verdejo 2012

Nisia Verdejo 2012




Herencia Altés Garnatxa Negra 2012. From DO Terra Alta come high quality wines. One of them is the Herencia Altés Garnatxa Negra, which is sold for £5.62.

 TAGS:Herencia Altés Garnatxa Negra 2012Herencia Altés Garnatxa Negra 2012

Herencia Altés Garnatxa Negra 2012



Casa Castillo Monastrell 2010. Enjoy the flavors offered to the palate by the Monastrell grape variety. You can have this wine to consume it or give away for a round price of £4.85.

 TAGS:Casa Castillo Monastrell 2010Casa Castillo Monastrell 2010

Casa Castillo Monastrell 2010




Kukuxumusu ?Beso de vino? Selección 2011. From DO Cariñena comes this wine made from grenache and syrah. For £3.53 you have a great wine, with the original label of Kukuxumusu’s fun designs.

 TAGS:Kukuxumusu Kukuxumusu “Beso de vino” Selección 2011

Kukuxumusu “Beso de vino” Selección 2011


Gaba do Xil Mencía 2012. Try new wines during this 2015. We recommend the Gaba do Xil Mencía, from DO Valdeorras. It costs £6.48.

 TAGS:Gaba do Xil Mencía 2012Gaba do Xil Mencía 2012

Gaba do Xil Mencía 2012



Tarima Orgánico 2012. Who said that organic is expensive? This wine is made from organic Monastrell vines and it costs £4.24.

 TAGS:Tarima Orgánico 2012Tarima Orgánico 2012

Tarima Orgánico 2012

The aging of Spanish wines

 TAGS:The Spanish wine classification about aging time has been adapted to the 2003 Spanish wine and vineyards law, in order to guarantee a standard quality for the designation of origin. Besides these there are other classifications, about control and characteristics. For example, in order to get the crop year printed on the label,  85% of the wine must have been produced in the same year.

The wines can be classified in the following way:

  • The young wines are those wines of the year, made to be marketed immediately. They don?t age in barrels, or the aging time used for them is smaller than provided for aged wines.
  • Crianza wines: those red wines that are spending two years in age, with at least 6 months in wood (12 months for Rioja), and put on sale in the third year. The rosé and white wines remain one year aging in the cellar and six months in wooden barrels, to be sold in the second year.
  • Reserva Wines: in the case of red wines, it must remain three years in the cellars, at least 12 months must be in oak barrels, for marketing in the fourth year. The rosé and white wines require two years and six months in warehouses in wooden barrels to be sold in the third year.
  • Gran Reserva wines: wines made from the best vintages, in the case of the reds, they have to spend a minimum of two years in wooden barrels, the rosé and white wines spend four years in the cellars, six months in barrels and are sold during the sixth year.

Instead, aging of noble wines or fortified wines should be:

  • Nobles wines: They are aged for a period of 18 months in wooden barrels
  • Añejos wines: They are aged for a period of 24 months in wooden barrels
  • Old wines: They are aged for 36 months in wooden barrels.

All Spanish autonomous communities are producers of wine, but half of the vineyards are in Castilla-La Mancha. This is the largest wine region of the world.

Do you like aged wines? Then we recommend 2 good ones:

 TAGS:Viña Cubillo Crianza 2005Viña Cubillo Crianza 2005

Viña Cubillo Crianza 2005, the Riojas have always a great value for money



 TAGS:Viña Arana Reserva 2004Viña Arana Reserva 2004

Viña Arana Reserva 2004, one great reserva wine

2012: three best DOs from Spain

 TAGS:I know that I’m going to surprise you with my choices of designations of origin for 2012. The news is that I have knocked out two of my favorites: DO Ribera del Duero and DO Toro, to include others, it is quite a step. The reason is that I do not want to be so repetitive and that tasting new wines is always fun.

The first on this podium is the DOCA Rioja, which gives us so much satisfaction when we are outside Spain, as it is the easiest to find and everyone knows or have heard about it. Already within our borders, we find that Rioja is a great region (of which I am a fan) for the beauty of its landscapes, its rich cuisine (also regarding sweets, do not think that stewed potatoes with chorizo Rioja-style are all what they have to offer) and the fantastic wineries, particularly proliferating in the Haro area.

I recommend a one day escape visit to the Viña Tondonia facilities (where I went to this summer and left absolutely delighted), to have the chance to experience a truly old winery and tasting that Viña Tondonia Blanco Crianza that has me completely under its spelt.

I will also have to suggest that once out of the cellar when the visit and the wine taste is over you can wander through the streets of the town and you can as well take the car and go visit to Santo Domingo de la Calzada (15 minute drive) to enjoy the full flavour of the Rioja in a legend and pilgrim tradition place.

Ribera del Guadiana and VT Extremadura would be in second position on the podium because between Salitre 2009 and Habla num. 10 I am beside myself with joy. This region, from which soil is so difficult to extract a good pair of grapes to make wine, has been giving it all lately and these two wines are the best prove of it. And if despite all the lines that I have dedicated to the Bodega Habla there is still someone who has not yet tasted some of its wines, they can ask for it upon request in their letter to Santa.

Finally, the bronze was going to go to the DOQ, Priorat which deserves it for their latest releases and for so many years in the spotlight (and in a particularly privileged place my cellar), but I have instead decided to nominate for it to VT Mallorca because of the surprising combinations I always find in its wines and for the unexpectedness of the image in most of its bottles, which bring a breath of fresh air to the table, especially if you choose one of its wines to accompany some of those delicious vegetables cakes they specialize in.


Wines with their own appellation of origin

 TAGS:Many times we are guided by the Denomination of Origin when buying a wine, but there are cases when the opposite happens, that first taste of a wine leads us to the rewarding experience of discovering a whole new appellation which was unknown for us before. Such events still deserve more attention when we realize that the whole Appellation of Origin consists only in one cellar. X-Files.

How can you make such a progress from having just your little vineyards to get your own Denomination of Origin? Or still more intriguing: How to make your cellar -Designation of Origin- microcosme become world famous?

I think that I will not be able to answer any of these interesting questions and the truth is that if I could and I would have embarked on that venture, that?s how I am. But I’m sure that the responsible of Dominio de Valdepusa in Spain and Bolgheri Sassicaia in Italy know what this is about, since they are some who have succeeded doing it.

Sassicaia marketed its first vintage in 1968, although the family owners were producing wine since the forties. Their passion for the wine world and especially for the French wines from the Bordeaux region led them to plant the first vines with the intention of using them just for their personal consumption.

The obsession with the pursuit of quality drove them to consider the business. Thus, excellent wine and persistence led to the inevitable: as in 1983 this small area of Livorno, in the middle region of Tuscany, was declared appellation of origin.

The case Dominio de Valdepusa is even trickier. The plot of land where the vineyards are placed is property and belong to the family of the Marquis de Griñón since 1292. These fifty acres in Malpica de Tajo (Toledo) enjoy the special features of a terroir that gives to this family success in the wine.

Each year they produce around 300,000 bottles of different wines, two of which are among my favorites: Caliza and Marqués de Griñón Petit Verdot. Also their essence has to do with Bordeaux as happened with Sassiscaia, although in this case the relationship with the French region is given by the house winemaker, Michel Rolland, who comes from there.

 TAGS:Summa Varietalis 2006Summa Varietalis 2006

Summa Varietalis 2006



 TAGS:Sassicaia 2008Sassicaia 2008

Sassicaia 2008

Argentinian Rioja vs. Spanish Rioja

 - Considered the elixir of the gods in ancient Greece, wine is one of the most popular drinks around the world. Given its importance, on January 30, 2012, Wine Enthusiast magazine published the results of the competition to choose which is the best wine region in the world, with candidates in France, Italy, Spain, Argentina and the United States; an honor which finally went to the Italian region of Prosecco.

Indeed, between tasting and cheers, two wine regions stand out and draw attention. We refer to the Spanish La Rioja wine, which is the most prestigious vineyard area in Spain, and the Argentinian La Rioja, which belongs to a province in the north. Which one is the best? It is difficult to find a single winner since, if it is a matter of tastes and aromas, everyone has their own taste for the good wines that capture the preference of global markets.

The Spanish Rioja

The Spanish region extends over La Rioja Autonomous Community and several municipalities of the Basque Country and Navarre. This region covers an area of 60,000 hectares of vineyards where grows one of the most prestigious wines worldwide. La Rioja is a land of natural beauty, spread with vineyards and cellars which can be visited.

It should be noted that one of the most widespread grape variety is Tempranillo, which is a vine typically Spanish, so you get the best red wines. And one of the things that make these wines different from others is their good propensity to aging, which there is made in oak barrels.

There the wine evolves and undergoes a micro oxygenation process, acquiring the aromas and flavors from wood. Then, depending on the aging process followed for its elaboration, the Rioja wine is divided into four categories: young wine, aged wine, reserve wine and grand reserve wine. In most cases these are wines with a good balanced composition and excellent bouquet.

The Argentinian Rioja

Traveling across the world, in Argentina also highlights the area of La Rioja, a province located in the northwestern Argentina, rich in agriculture and mining, but highlighting the cultivation of wine grapes in the Famatina Valleys, which have some unique features in terms of temperatures and soil.

Indeed, there stands out the Chilecito area, with over 5,000 hectares and whose Rioja torrontés, which is its flagship white wine, possesses distinctive qualities in a great fruity variety and a golden white shade, unique in the world.

Another thing to consider is that in La Rioja, the red crops -especially the Bonarda grape- are the most produced for the consumption of table wines. Not surprisingly this region has won prizes in various competitions at international level, with varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Chenin, Merlot and Chardonnay.

In conclusion, no doubt the best wine is the one that goes straight to the soul at the time of tasting. You already have an idea of the origin and production of two distinct geographical areas whose wines are considered among the best in the world, you have the final answer?