Spain is home to the largest vineyard acreage in the world. The country's wine heritage is at least 3,000 years old. Vineyards in today's sherry region were planted by the Phoenicians around 1,100 BC. When the Romans conquered Spain, they introduced new wine making techniques and expanded production of wine and traded throughout the new Mediterranean empire.
Today, Spain is enjoying an explosion of new wines. The country's diverse geography and climate offer a unique variety of wine styles that are firmly rooted in tradition and steeped in history, yet at the same time, modern and vibrant. Attendees at the 2018 Houston Livestock and Show and Rodeo™ will have an opportunity to taste winners among the 200-plus Spanish wines judged during the 2018 Rodeo Uncorked! International Wine Competition. Visit the Champion Wine Garden to sample your way through these wines of Spain.
The Spanish wines featured are from Northern Spanish wine regions, specifically the wine growing regions of Rioja, Navarra, Priorat, Ribera de Duero, Rueda, Rias Baixas, Valdeorras and Cava. Varietals include Spain's signature grape, Tempranillo, and Spain's other popular red wine, Garnacha (Grenache). Styles range from fruity crowd pleasers to bold tannic wines that are a favorite of collectors. White grapes - Verdejo and Albariño - offer refreshing alternatives to Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio. Cava wines are Spain's version of "Champagne," and are gaining in popularity on the international sparkling wine stage. While the original Cavas were produced exclusively in Catalonia, modern Cava can come from various parts of Spain.