The wine production in Spain has changed radically over the last decades. Just 25-30 years ago, most Spanish wineries focused more on getting as much out of their grapes without looking too much on the quality of the product. Wine was sold by the kilo/litre in the past.
Today, many wineries have made changes to their production to make high quality wine. but one of the best is found north of Madrid. In Ribera del Duero the oenologist of Danish origins, Peter Sisseck, produces some of the best wines in Spain. The top wine Pingus sells for around 1.000 € per bottle.
Spain is well known for their powerful red wines - several Spanish wine regions focus almost exclusively on red wine production - but it is also possible to find excellent white wines in Spanish wine regions like Rueda - where mostly the verdejo grape is used - Rias Baixas where the albariño grape is used, and Penedès where grapes like xarel·lo, macabeu, parellada, chardonnay and riesling are used.
Spain makes sparkling wine under the name of cava. Unfortunately, in many cases, the production of sparkling wine still focusses on low prices and little quality. However, bodegas like Gramona, Llopart and Recaredo all produce excellent sparkling wine. Below you will find 10 wineries that are easy to visit from cities like Barcelona, Madrid and Bilbao.
Elegant red wines, full of fruit and with a mineral finish. The winery has a spectacular location in the mountains south of Barcelona
Ferrer Bobet is one of our favourite wineries to visit in Spain. The combination of spectacular architecture, a beautiful location in the mountains and the production of some of Spain's best wines, make the visit to Ferrer Bobet in Priorat unique.
Sergi Ferrer-Salat and Raül Bobet are the two partners behind Ferrer Bobet that launched the first wines in 2008. They both share a passion for wine and found 70 hectares in one of Priorat's most dramatic locations in the mountains between the villages Falset and Porrera. This area has cooler temperatures than most others in Priorat and give perfect conditions for the production of high-quality wine.
Some of the best reds. Robert Parker has given the winery 100 points
Roda is a top winery in northern Spain in the wine region Rioja. The winery was founded by Mario Rotllant and Carmen Daurella in 1987 (the name Roda comes from their surnames). Bodegas Roda is in the very center of the wine region, La Rioja, in the neighbourhood Barrio de la Estación in the town Haro.
One of the important values of the winery is sustainability. The philosophy if the winery is to work with old vineyards, low productions and a selection of the best grapes. Each plot is vinified individually in French oak barrels.
Potent and full body Rioja red Wines from northern Spain
Artadi is a relatively young winery, founded in 1985. a group of winemakers decided to join forces and make the cooperative Cooperativa de Cosecheros Alaveses. During the 1990's, the winery became more and more known, and the director Juan Carlos López de Lacalle started controlling the company.
Since then, the winery has kept on growing and has expanded in two other wine region: Bodegas y Viñedos Artazu (Navarra) and Bodegas y Viñedos El Sequé (Alicante). In 2014 the winery won the Peñín price of the best winery of the year.
Savour tasty bubbles in Penedès - just 40 minutes' drive from Barcelona
Gramona is one of the very best wineries in Spain focusing on sparkling wine. It is a family owned winery in the town of Sant Sadurní d’Anoia, close to Barcelona. The winery was founded in 1881 - today the fifth generation of the family is leading the company. Gramona is famous for their sparkling wines aged for up to 12 years.
Gramona is part of Corpinnat, a group of quality producers in the Penedès wine region (together with Llopart, Recaredo, Torelló and Nadal among others). The group was created to distinguish themselves from large, industrial wineries in the area, that are not ecological, that collect the grapes by machine with none or little selection of grapes. All wineries in the group use 100% hand-picked ecological grapes that are vinified at the winery itself.
Red wine of the highest quality in Ribera del Duero produced by a family-owned business
Hermanos Pérez Pascuas was founded by three brothers, Benjamín, Manuel y Adolfo Pascuas, in the Ribera del Duero region. In 1982 the three brother participated in the creation of the board of D.O. Ribera del Duero.
The winery is also known as Viña Pedrosa, a name that comes from the location in Pedrosa de Duero (in the region of Burgos, Spain). The winery has 145 hectares, most of them with Tinto Fino (tempranillo), and an annual production of around 550,000 bottles.
In the American wine magazine 'Wine&Spirits’ it was awarded one of the 100 most important wineries in the world in 2013. Among their best wines are Viña Pedrosa Tinto Reserva.
White, red & sparkling wine produced close to the sea less than 30 minutes' drive from Barcelona
The Alta Alella Winery has a beautiful location amid of the Serralada de Marina Natural Park with views of the Mediterranean Sea. The winery founded by Pujol-Busquets Guilléns produces a wide range of wines: dessert wine, red wine, white wine and cava (sparkling wine). The winery is 100 % organic, meaning no use of pesticides.
The visit includes a walk in the vineyards, a cellar visit and a tasting of 4 of the best wines of the winery. The tasting can vary, but normally includes the crisp white wine Lanius, the syrah-based red wine Parvus, the cava Mirgin Exeo and the dessert wine Dolç Mataró.
Ecological wines from 1963
Jiménez-Landi is a high-quality producer in Real de San Vicente west of Madrid. The production area is simplistic, and the wine cellar is located in a historic building in the countryside. The winery was founded in 1963 but it was not until 2004 that Jimenez-Landi formed a partnership.
The winery has in total 20Ha of vineyards, located in altitudes of between 700 and 900 meters. The philosophy of the winery is natural wines, with only a soft impression by the wine maker. The annual production is around 100.000 bottles.
Vinyes Domènech is one of our favourite wineries to visit from Barcelona
Vinyes Domenènech is found in the Montsant Wine Region, south of Barcelona. The winery works with environment friendly methods, respecting the planet and is also a socially responsible company. The Domènech family is from Falset in Priorat. The vineyards are located in Capçanes, with old vines.
The altitude of the vines is 450-500 meters. The unique terroir provides perfect conditions for the production of the winery's two wines.
A spectacular winery designed by Norman Foster easily accessible from Madrid
This winery may be more famous for its astounding architecture. The world-renowned architect and Pritzker winner Norman Foster designed this jarring structure that forms the wings of the building (rose petals). The building is made out of concrete, wood, steel and glass. The winery, that forms part of the winery group Grupo Faustino, was inaugurated in 2010 and won the British Riba Awards in 2011.
Fresh white wines - and the location of the winery is breath-taking
Txomin Etxaniz might be the winery with the best location in Spain: in the hills right in front of the Atlantic Ocean. The winery is located close to Getaria, the area famous for production of the txakoli wine, the slightly sparkling white wine with high acidity and low alcohol (9,5° - 11,5°) produced in the Basque Country and Galicia in Northern Spain.
Txomin Etxaniz has 35 hectares of vineyards, and as the winery expresses it: 'History and tradition, land and sea, txakoli and fishing live together in perfect harmony'.
There are more than 2500 wineries in Spain - many offering visits
Above we have listed 10 of our favourite wineries in Spain - but they are not the only ones we offer visits to. Just in the small wine region of Priorat south of Barcelona, we offer visits to more than 15 wineries, among them: Perinet Winery, Mas Martinet, Clos Figueres, Torres and Scala Dei.
In Penedès, we can recommend visits to Mas Comtal, Codorníu, Torres, Albet i Noya, Finca de Viladellops, Jean Leon, Parés Baltà, Can Ráfols dels Caus and Celler Pardas. If you are looking for sparkling wine production close to Barcelona, we recommend Vilarnau, Solà Raventós - besides the already mentioned Gramona, Llopart and Recaredo.
From Madrid we recommend winery visits to Bernabeleva, El Regajal, Finca Loranque and bodega Marañones. And from neaby Toledo you can visit Finca Constancia, Finca Loranqueor Viñedos Cigarral.
In north western Spain (Galicia), we can recommend the beautiful winery Viña Costeira (in the photo above) and - further towards the sea - Pazo Berrantes.