Regions / Spain / Valencia
Valencia Wine Regions, its Climate, and Popular Grape Varietals
Valencia, located along Spain’s sun-drenched east coast, is perhaps best known for being the wine export center of the nation. The Valencia wine-making region includes the port city of Valencia, which has benefited over the centuries from being located close to the wine-trading routes of Europe. The city of Valencia is the third-largest in Spain, and it is also the Mediterranean’s largest port.
Valencia includes three denominacions de origen (DOs), of which the most prominent and famous is the Valencia DO. Given its size, this DO is further broken down into 4 distinct production sub-zones: Valentino, Alto Turia, Moscatel and Clariano. Each of these produces a distinct type of grape varietal, due to the local changes in climate. Near the sea, the climate is more Mediterranean, but further inland, the climate is more continental. For example, the Moscatel sub-zone is famed for its sweet Moscatel wines, but cooler climate zones are better for producing dry white wines made from Macabeo and Merseguera.
A wine-making tradition has existed in Valencia for more than a thousand years, but it is only within the past century that this wine region has become known for more than just bulk wine production. As a result, there is no distinct style of “Valencian wine,” but most wine drinkers associate the region with the rich, fruit-driven red wines made from Monastrell or the sweet, dessert-style wines made from Moscatel.
The wines of Valencia can be loosely grouped into three distinct categories: easy-drinking reds and whites; the “double pasta” reds that are bold and rich; and the fortified moscatels. Popular grape varietals in Valencia include Macabeo, Merseguera, Chardonnay, Semillon, Garnacha, Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. There is also a limited production of sparkling Cava wine within Valencia.
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