Wine Education: How the European Union Revolutioned the Spanish Wine Industry
If you should find yourself in a bustling Spanish city feasting on tapas, a quaint seaside town devouring shrimp, or at your favorite Spanish restaurant in your hometown, likely you have also decided to order a delicious glass of Spanish wine. Today, pairing your Spanish inspired food with wine from the same nation only makes sense, but Spanish wine suffered along the way to earn its reputation.
A brief history of Spanish wine:
Though Spain boasts a nearly perfect terroir variety and geographical climate when it comes to producing wine, its historical, political climate caused the wine industry to suffer for centuries:
• From 1200 to nearly 1500 the Muslim Moors were in charge. The Muslim reign meant no alcohol consumption, so not the best environment for the wine industry.
• The brutal Spanish Civil War from 1936 to 1939 wiped out the able-bodied men to work in the vineyards.
• The country of Spain suffered under the dictator of Francisco Franco from 1936 until well into the 1970s.
• When Spain began exporting wine in the 1980s, it was often poor quality or even contaminated.
What the EU did for Spanish wine:
Spain joined the European Union in 1986 and adopted the Euro as its currency in 1999. Joining the EU, of course, offers many advantages, but revitalizing the Spanish wine industry represents one of the most culturally and financially viable benefits.
In the 1980s before the EU authorities cleaned up the wine industry, the Rioja region served as the only area producing decent wine.
But, after the EU ordered vineyards and wineries cleaned up for bacteria and other unsanitary conditions, the Spanish wine industry began to explode.
The resurgence of wine production helped to develop a whole new interest for young wine enthusiasts and experts further encouraging the development of the industry and the export revenues.
Today, in the world of wine exporting, Italy and France continuously compete for first place, but Spain comes in as a strong third.
Enjoy Spanish wines today:
Today, wine selections from Spain present an excellent culinary choice while also providing great value. With so many selections you'll never run out of options, but you can't go wrong with a classic Tempranillo or a delicious Cava for celebrations.
For more information on Spanish wines contact us.
- Adam Linet