Spain Wine Tours

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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Few countries can parallel the richness and diversity you'll taste during Spain wine tours or the variety of the landscape, culture, and gastronomy that you'll find in the Iberian peninsula. From the rugged Basque country off the Bay of Biscay to the flat plains of Castile and Leon in the north, to the balmy Mediterranean region of Andalucia with its white hill towns and Moorish monuments, Spain is a land of contrasts and vitality.

Spain Wine Tours: a Tasting

Famous the world over for hundreds of years, sherry is native to Andalucia in the south of the country. But it is not, as it is sometimes thought, a sickly sweet sipping wine for older English ladies, though it is perhaps an acquired taste. The three primary Andalucian producer towns are Jerez de la Frontera, Sanlúcar de Barrameda, and El Puerto de Santa Maria.

Almost all sherries are made from a fairly neutral white grape, the Palomino Fino, that thrives in chalky white albariza soil. There are four types of sherry--fino, manzanilla, oloroso, and amontillado. Each are particularly suited to different types of food, as you'll discover on all Spain wine tours.

But there is far more to Spain wine tours and Spanish wine than sherry and its cousins, port and Madeira. In the rugged northwest provinces of Galicia, for example, are the delightful white Albariños. In the plains of Castile are robust and velvety reds that couple so well with the meat dishes of the region. Along the Pyrenees are several historic red wine producing provinces and the famous La Rioja. But just as Spanish wine is far more than sherry, it is also far more than full-bodied reds, as you will learn. Enjoy the adventure!

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