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Wine Term(s) of the Week: Spain

The Spanish take their wine aging very seriously–they are truly concerned with not releasing a wine “before its time.”  So much so that they’ve written it into their wine laws:

A Spanish quality wine labeled Crianza (red wine) must be aged a minimum of 2 years, with at least six months in barrel (barrica de vino). In Navarra, Rioja, and Ribera Del Duero, the minimum time in barrel is a year. White wines must be a year old, with at least six months in barrel.

Reserva wines (red) must be aged at least three years, with one year in barrel. Whites must be two years old, with at least six months in barrel.

Gran Reserva wines (red) must be aged at least five years, with 18 months in barrel. In Navarra, Rioja, and Ribera Del Duero, the minimum barrel time is two years.  White wines must be four years old, with at least six months in barrel.

Spain, by the way, has more land under vines than any other country on earth.

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