Regions / Spain / Aragon
Aragon Wine Regions, its Climate, and Popular Grape Varietals
Located in the northeast of Spain, Aragon extends from the Pyrenees Mountains all the way south to the central Iberian Peninsula. To the east of Aragon is the wine region Catalonia, and to the west, the wine regions of La Rioja, Castillay Leon and Navarra. The capital of Aragon is Zaragoza.
Due to its size, Aragon actually has a number of wine sub-regions with widely divergent climates. In the north, the snow-capped Pyrenees help to create a much cooler climate, while in the south, Aragon is known for its parched plains. In the central area of Aragon, there are green hills. Altitude plays an important role here, with elevated, mountainous regions being cooler. This diversity of climates means that a diverse range of grapes can thrive in the region, with proximity to the Ebro River key.
There are four denominacions de origen (DOs) in Aragon: Calatayud, Campo de Borja, Carinena and Somontano. These DOs are largely defined by their locations within the Ebro River valley, with Somontano being the most northward of all of them. In addition, Aragon has one Cava (the sparkling Spanish wine)-producing zone within its borders.
In terms of grape varietals, the most popular reds include Garnacha, Carinena and Tempranillo. The ancient native variety Moristel is also popular with locals. White grape varietals include Macabeo, Chardonnay and Moscatel. Large winemaking cooperatives play an important role in local wine production. Until recently, the focus had been on bulk wine production, but now bottled Garnacha wine has become popular.
Historically, the modern wine region of Aragon is linked to the medieval kingdom of Aragon. In the capital of Zaragoza, it is possible to see a number of important medieval relics.