Curious Small Sip #39: Aragón

A vineyard in Aragón, Spain, beloning to the Tempore winery

The Aragón wine region is a tough, arid place in the northeast of Spain, sandwiched between two significant mountain ranges: the Pyrenees in the north and the Iberian System to the south. The massive basin between the two is home to four wine making regions.

The northernmost region, Somontano (‘under the mountains’), shoulders up to the Pyrenees. Big daily temperature fluctuations in spring and autumn keep the grapes full of both sugar and acid. The resulting wines are well-balanced, fruity, zesty numbers.

Aragón’s three other wine regions are clustered relatively close together in the centre of the region.

Campo de Borja is just west of Aragón’s capital, Zaragoza, and south of the Ebro river. Vineyards here are planted on a series of plateaus, in three elevation zones, each giving the wine its own characteristics.

Slightly further south and joined at the hip are the regions of Cariñena and Calatayud.

Cariñena is Aragón’s oldest wine region and produces quality wines in numerous styles, including cava. It’s the birthplace of the Cariñena grape (better known as Carignan).

Being close to the Iberian System, Calatayud shares similarities with Somontano in terms of climate. Grapes are harvested later here than in other parts of Aragón, resulting in well-balanced sweeter wines.

Most wine in Aragón is produced by cooperatives. While a variety of grapes are cultivated for wine in Aragón, red wine is mostly from Garnacha, Cabernet and Tempranillo, white wine from Macabeo and Chardonnay.

Image: Tempore

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