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Wine Spectator School

Class 6: Traveling the Old World



Newcomer to the Modern World

Along with the rest of the Old World, Spain has made wine for thousands of years. Spain's wine making tradition was interrupted by Moslem rule, however, and resumed relatively recently, about 500 years ago.

Only since the 1980s has Spanish wine making caught up with the rest of Europe. Thanks to new investments, a string of fine vintages and, most importantly, adoption of modern wine making techniques, Spain is now producing some of the most exciting red wines in the world.

Many of the best reds are based on the indigenous variety Tempranillo, which means "early," as in early or easily ripening. This is a crucial virtue given the cool growing season that characterizes northern Spain's wine regions. Among the...

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