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Discover Spain’s new wine movement on holiday and at home

Antonio Sarrión of Bodegas Mustiguillo in Valencia
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Forget everything you thought you knew about Spanish wine. This guide reveals the country’s hidden wine gems, from innovative winemakers to must-visit wineries. Expert recommendations included.

Spain’s wine scene is exploding with innovation and diversity. Wine expert Lotte Karolina Gabrovits in partnership with VinoVoss, a wine search engine that helps recommend which wine to buy, shares her tips on discovering a new generation of Spanish wines. Plus we suggest wineries to tour across Spain.

The Rise of Viñateros: Independent Winemakers

Traditionally, Spain’s wine exports were dominated by large producers. However, a new generation of independent winemakers, known as “viñateros,” is challenging the status quo. These innovators are embracing lesser-known grape varieties and regions, experimenting with techniques, and reviving ancient winemaking traditions. The result is an explosion of diversity and a focus on quality over quantity.

Jo Lory, marketing manager at Indigo Wine, to wine publication The Buyer:

“There’s been a huge change in Spanish wines in the last 20 years. It arguably goes back to the post-Franco mindset change of opening up to the wider world, with the next generation of producers travelling the globe to learn new techniques and then coming home to harness their native grapes and lands. People talk a lot about the wines of France and Italy, but we really believe the wines of Spain should really be seen as standing up there with the best.”

Lotte Karolina Gabrovits, a wine expert, says winemakers are experimenting across Spain’s rolling, vine-covered hills. “We are seeing rapid growth in the prevalence of appellations out of lesser-known Denominación de Origen Protegida wine regions, from Bizkaiko Txakolina and Ribeira Sacra in Spain’s northern latitudes, to Méntrida and Cebreros of central Spain, Bullas in the south, to Valle de la Oratava of the Spanish Canary Islands off the coast of Morocco and Western Sahara,” she says.

Adding, “The sparkling wine scene is also being set a-bubble by a shift from the Cava region’s Champagne-like creations to Corpinnat sparklers from the Penedès region, whose production is strictly defined as using 100% organic indigenous grapes, hand-picked and manually processed from start to finish on-premises.”

Stand-out wines from the Atlantic North-West

Beyond Tempranillo and Garnacha: A Grape Variety Revolution

The viñateros movement is moving beyond the familiar Tempranillo and Garnacha grapes, exploring the potential of over 80 other varieties. This exploration of diversity is leading to unique flavour profiles and wines that truly express the terroir of their regions. From the northern Txakolina to the volcanic Canary Islands, Spain’s wine regions are revealing hidden treasures.

Corpinnat: Sparkling Wine with a Conscience

The sparkling wine scene is also buzzing with innovation. Corpinnat, a new category of sparkling wine from the Penedès region, is gaining momentum. These wines are produced exclusively from organic indigenous grapes, hand-picked and manually processed on-site. This commitment to quality and sustainability is a testament to the ethos of the new-wave winemakers.

5 Must-Try New Wave Spanish Wines

Gramona La Cuvée Corpinnat: A biodynamic sparkler from a pioneering producer, this wine showcases the Corpinnat commitment to quality and sustainability.

Visit the Penedés | Sparkling Wine | D.O. Cava .

Best Wine Tastings in Catalonia in 2024

Itsasmendi Artizar: A unique white from the Bizkaiko Txakolina region, this wine is a testament to experimentation and micro-production.

Alternative wine tours in the Basque Country

Carlos Serres Tempranillo Old Vines: This wine elevates the classic Tempranillo grape with a non-interventionist approach and old-growth vines.

More wine tour destinations to consider in the Rioja region

César Márquez Pico Ferreira: This spicy red, predominantly made from Mencía grapes, hails from a winery with a unique beekeeping program, showcasing a commitment to biodiversity.

  • Winery: Bodegas César Márquez
  • Location: Valtuille de Abajo, Bierzo, Castile and León
  • Where to buy in the UK

Terroir Al Límit Soc. Lda Torroja: This fruity wine from the Priorat region is a blend of Cariñena and Garnacha, produced by a winery known for its commitment to sustainability.

Taste new Spanish wines in the UK

In February at Lindley Hall in Victoria, London the annual Viñateros wine tasting event was held to showcase Spanish wines hosted by UK importers. Roughly 500 distinct wines were poured in celebration of indigenous grapes, regenerative farming, and the revival of ancient winemaking traditions. In addition to Tempranillo and Garnacha, some 80 different grape varieties went into the making of the uncorked vintages.

Freelance journalist Mike Turner who reported from Viñateros! 2024 says he was particularly impressed with new wines coming out of the Valencia region.

He says a standout producer is Antonio Sarrión of Bodegas Mustiguillo in Valencia (main image), known for championing local varieties like Merseguera and Bobal. Sarrión’s family bought a country estate back in the 1970s, but it wouldn’t be until Sarrión decided to leave his career and study viticulture in the mid-1990s and eventually started the Mustigullo winery.

Turner recommends the Finca Calvestra 2021 Merseguera (£17.25) and particularly enjoys the Finca Terrerazo Bobal 2021 (£23.25) from old vines, suggesting it could be served chilled. You can book a wine tour if you are in the Valencia region and taste the wine for yourself. Plus hear the remarkable story of reinventing the Bobal grape for the wine industry. Wine tour tickets for adults start at EUR25 with children costing EUR10. This includes a 2-hour tour, which includes a tour of the vineyards and facilities, testing 5 wines, plus their sampling of the estate’s olive oil and food from the region.

The Future of Spanish Wine

The new wave of Spanish winemakers is redefining the country’s wine scene. With their passion, innovation, and dedication to quality, they are producing wines that are both exciting and authentic. This movement is not just a trend; it’s a revolution that promises to shape the future of Spanish wine, according to Gabrovits.

Where to do wine tastings in Spain?

Here are the best wine tastings to book in Spain according to the wine tour and travel site Windering:

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