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History Conquered by the Phoenicians in 1100 B.C. Spain planted their first grape vines and began producing wine in Cadiz . Wine soon became a main source of work and income for citizens. When the Moors conquered Spain in 711 A.D. they forbade the use of alcohol due to religious beliefs. Wine was still produced under the Moorish rule but was used mostly for food and was no longer a major trade product in Spain. Spain finally regained control in 1942 and wine production continued. Wine became a bigger part of Spain’s economy when Christopher Columbus found the Americas which allowed for more exportation to Latin America.
Wine Regions With over 70 designated wine regions approved by the government for quality Spain is producing some great wine. Main wine regions:
La Rioja – located in northern Spain. Where Spanish Rioja wine is produced.
Penedes – Where Spanish sparkling wine, or cava, is produced.
Ribera del Duero – Fairly new area of wine growing.
Quality Laws Every winery in Spain has to abide by strict rules set by the European and Spanish Government. Every bottle of wine is required to contain its quality and aging which are based on specific laws.
Vino de Mesa – The lowest quality wine.
Vino de la Tierra – Better quality with few requirements of grape varieties, yields, or aging.
Vinos de Calidad con Indicación Geográfica – Wine’smade in a certainregionusing grapes fromthatsameregion, higherquality.
Vinos de Denominación de Origen (DO) – Wines of high quality that require better barrels, aging requirements, yields, & vineyards.
Vinos de Denominación de Origen Calificada (DOC) – Winethat has achievedhighlevels of qualityover a longperiod of time
minimum ageing period totalling 18 months, either in oak containers having a maximum capacity of 600 litres, or in the bottle.
Vino noble (quality wine) – Minimum ageing period of 18 months, either in oak containers having a maximum capacity of 600 litres, or in the bottle.
Vinoañejo(aged wine) – Minimum aging period of 24 months , either in oak containers having a maximum capacity of 600 litres, or in the bottle.
Vinoviejo(old wine) – Minimum ageing period of 36 months when the ageing process is of a strong oxidative nature due to the action of light, oxygen, hot or a conjunction of all
Vino de crianza(crianza wine) – Red wines aged a minimum of 24 months, of which 6 are spent in oak containers with a capacity of 330 liters. White and rosé wines aged at least 18 months.
Reserva – applies to red wines aged for a minimum of 36 months, at least 12 months in oak and the rest in the bottle; white and rosé wines aged for 18 months, to include 6 months in wood.
Gran Reserva– Red wines aged for a minimum of 60 months at least 18 months in oak, white and rosé wines aged for 48 months, to
Include 6 months in wood
Climate BBC reports on climate change and its impacts to Spanish vineyards. Spain’s vineyards are known for their “extreme climatic conditions.” Wine makers, or bodegueros, are faced with long summers and no rain, short summers and too much rain to frost and bitter cold climates. Due to these climate challenges the production of wine requires many engineering innovations to aid in growing only the best grapes.
Wine Making Bigger winery’s use large stainless steel vats that rotate similar to that of cement trucks to speed the process. 5 step process to producing wine: Growing & harvesting Crushing & pressing Fermentation Clarification Aging & bottling Bottling Smaller wineries, or bodegas, use more traditional methods for fermenting wine by using huge clay pots known as “tinajas” instead of vats.
Engineering There are many engineering innovations used in vineyards some include:
Mechanical harvesting is a mechanized labor that drops the grapes onto a conveyor belt which end up in a holding bin. With this particular engineering innovation harvesters are able to pick 80-200 tons of grapes per day. In addition, mechanical harvesting can accomplish all goals regardless of the climate MSNBC Article: “It’s geek-meets-grape as wine gets wired.”
Culture Everything that goes into the production of Spain’s wine reflects the country’s diversity, hard-work, achievement, and history. The Haro Wine Festival Held every summer in the town of Haro, La Rioja in northern Spain. The festival involves wine drinking competitions, contests, and Batalla de Vino (Battle of Wine)
Works Cited Castro, Jo. "Spanish Wine Information." Wine Info Online. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Apr. 2011. <http://www.wine-information-online.com/spanish-wine-information.html>. Dick, Avery. Vino Club SMA. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Apr. 2011. <http://www.vinoclubsma.com/index.htm>. "Spanish Wine Guide." Great Wines From Spain. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Apr. 2011. <http://www.greatwinesfromspain.com/>. "Spanish Wine." Wikipedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Apr. 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_wine>. Wines From Spain. Spanish Institute For Foreign Trade (ICEX), n.d. Web. 7 Apr. 2011. <http://www.winesfromspain.com/icex/cda/controller/pageGen/0,3346,1549487_6759264_6759252_0,00.html>.