All in spain

The terroir of Rioja

Winemaking in Rioja has traditionally been all about blending, bringing different sub-regions and grape varieties together to create a reflection of the region as a whole. I recently met a producer who has a very different attitude, refusing to use the Rioja designation on their labels and making single-vineyard wines. Should other Spanish producers follow suit and make wines that are more individual expressions rather than regional blends?


Cava is known for being simple and inexpensive, but producers are finally beginning to think about making more expressive, structured wines. I learnt about the new Paraje designation, created with the aim of improving the quality and reputation of cava.


Montilla-Moriles, 150km inland from sherry, is best known for providing Pedro Ximénez grapes for intensely sweet styles of sherry. But I discovered the region produces remarkable wines in its own right.

The Terroir of Sherry

Terroir usually refers to where the grapes are grown and how the land and the climate affect the style of wine. That's true in sherry, but the terroir is also about where and how the wines are aged. No other wine quite reflects the subtle variants in how it's been made.