Bodegas Paniza High Quality Spanish Wine
The world's most widespread grapevine species is Vitis vinifera, native to what is now Iraq and it was domesticated by Assyrian people in the 7th century BC.
Ever since that distant moment, the grape varieties has spread all over the world, in those areas where the weather conditions were benevolent to the plant. It was first brought to the Mediterranean, where the Greeks and Romans took its fruit and its wine, as witnessed by the myths of Dionysus and Bacchus, an element to cherish.
Centuries later, when the Europeans went to America, explored Africa and reached Australia, they brought seeds and cuttings of the different grape varieties with them as they had already been established in the Old World.
These grape varieties emerged from spontaneous or intentional hybridisations of vines with various advantageous characteristics. By these acts, they were able to create plants that responded favourably to the soil, wind, rain and sun conditions of each territory and were more resistant to disease.
Spanish Wine Grape Varieties
After centuries of evolution, the original Vitis vinifera from Assyria, has led to more than 60 different species. But not all serve for wine making. This process depends many things but mainly on the degree of sugar in the grape, as the sugar will generate alcohol in fermentation. Also the concentration of tannins, and others acids, make a particular variety suitable for beginning the ancestral process of being converted into wine.
There are thousands of varieties of grapes suitable for wine making. In Spain, experts estimate that there are over 400 different kinds. Some of them do not have a name. This is only in Spain, we must also add many more for each wine producing country.
Indeed, it is a considerably high number to cover even a small percentage of varieties. Therefore, the trend since the industrialization era has been the adoption of criteria throughout the wine-growing areas around the globe. This is where the varieties Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot and Pinot Noir come from , they are the most widespread across the world. And in the Tempranillo particularly in Spain . Largely, thanks to the great versatility of each of these varieties which share qualities such as resistance to climate and diseases, therefore generating high productivity and yields.
In recent times these varieties have been a great success, but to the detriment of local varieties that, in some cases, have been on the verge of extinction. Nowadays, the trend is to recover each regions particular grape to create wines which reflect the character of the land from where they were born.