The Most Beautiful Spanish Wine Regions You Should Know

Tara Jessop

There are traces of wine production on the Iberian peninsula as far back as the time of the Ancient Romans, and today Spain is the third largest wine producer in the world. The rich diversity of its terroir, from mountain to sea, Atlantic to Mediterranean, is reflected in the quality and flavor of its wines, which include some of the most famous varieties in the world. Here are the eight most important Spanish wine regions you should know.

La Rioja

This is without a doubt the first name that anyone should know when it comes to Spanish wine. La Rioja is a region in northern Spain, between the eponymous La Rioja community as well as part of the Basque Country and Navarre. What is so distinctive about the wines produced in La Rioja is the deep oaky flavor that can be found both in the reds and the whites. These are usually full-bodied wines and are rumored to have been modeled on the French Bordeaux from the 18th century.

Vineyard in La Rioja


Ribera del Duero

This is a wine region with a long history of producing excellent wines, which have appealed to the international crowd for many years. The name comes from the river Duero, the wine being grown on its shores. Wines with the Ribera del Duero name are exclusively red and are in many ways similar to wines from La Rioja, although the distinctive terroirs of each are reflected in the wines themselves. Rumor has it that Ribera del Duero may well receive the distinguished DOCa appellation in the future.


Perhaps not as well known as the regions mentioned above, Cariñena is, in fact, one of the oldest protected wine regions in Europe, having received its status as far back as the 1930s. It is the native ground of the Carignan grape variety, which today is grown around the world with great success. Interestingly, in Cariñena the grape variety is best known as Mazuelo. The region is as well known for its full-bodied oaky reds as it is for its acidic whites or fruity rosés.


When you hear the name Rueda you usually expect to hear the name ‘Verdejo’ shortly after; the region is best known for its floral white wines made from the Verdejo grape variety. Although wine has been produced in the region since ancient times, the phylloxera epidemic in the 19th century wiped out most of the vines in the area and it wasn’t until the 1970s that production really started again. As of late, Rueda wines have become quite fashionable and are a popular choice when drinking outside of meal times.


One of the oldest wine producing regions in Europe, Penedès has diverse terroir ranging from the coastal region of the Garraf natural park on the shores of the Mediterranean, to the mountainous reaches of the Central Depression. Owing to this, the wines from this region are quite diverse and while the sun-gorged vineyards at lower levels are perfect for growing red varieties such as Cariñena, Grenache or Tempranillo, the higher altitudes inland produce some great white wines.


If there’s something in this name that strikes you as unusual that’s because you’re looking at a word from the Basque Country. Although ‘Txacoli’ isn’t itself a region but rather a type of wine, there are just three regions in which it can be produced; Txacoli de Bizcaia, Txacoli de Getaria and Txacoli de Álava. The wine produced here is an ever so slightly sparkling white wine which generally has a relatively low alcohol content. It is usually served before the meal and in the Basque Country it is typical to drink it alongside pintxos. It is poured into the glass from a height to as to activate the fizz.


Another exception but one which we simply couldn’t miss out from this list, Cava is the name for the Spanish sparkling wine, which although is not produced in just one specific region, does adhere to strict regulations and has a protected DO status. In order for a sparkling wine to qualify as Cava it must be made in one of the authorized regions, be made using the ‘Traditional Method’ – the same used for Champagne – and abide by a number of other regulations such as the fact that the vines cannot be artificially irrigated but must depend entirely on natural rainfall for their supply of water. A truly noble drink!

landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

Edit article