Spain is not only sangria and cheap gin tonics. As in all the Mediterranean countries wine production is part of its tradition and its culture. Although the may not be as glamorous or famous as some French and Italian wines, they have certainly gained in prestige and popularity during the past years not only among the experts. Spanish wines are doing quiet well in export. According to the Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade (ICEX), for example, exports to Brazil have registered 32, 12% up. During 2011 Spain besides has increased wine production and now is only the second after France.
Winemakers not only have refined their oenological techniques, but some of them have also courted the finest architectural arts. The newest wineries of one of the most famous winemaker (in Ribeira del Duero area of the Castilla y León region), Protos, were designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners.
Another very eminent wine area is La Rioja that lays between Castilla y Leon, Basque Country and Aragón . Actually its capital Logroño is pleasant city to spend a week end or more discovering not only the wine tours, but also the rich cultural heritage of this region: castles , monasteries, archaeological sites…For those of you who need a relaxing weekend, you won’t be disappointed: try wine therapy in one of the Rioja’s spas!
If you prefer lively cities instead then ther’s no better choice then Catalonia and apartments in Barcelona. One option is to make a route of the best vinotecas .Otherwise you should dare to step into a restaurant and have a try of a Catalan exquisite cuisine and wines. From Barcelona you can also easily travel to Priorat in south-western Catalonia, (according to the Catalans people opinion) definitely the county where the best wines are produced. The typical grapes here is the Garnacha Tinta . The other red varieties are Garnacha Peluda, Merlot, Syrah Cabernet Souvignon, while the whites are Garnacha Blanca, Pedro Xímenez and Chenin.
Priorat is obviously not the only wine region in Catalonia. Penédes is also well known, especially for its Cava (sparkling wine). You can stay few more days in Barcelona apartments and visit also the Terra Alta in Tarragona province, another prominent wine area.