Searching for spanish wines in La Rioja, Spain

Finding Hidden Gems in Spain

Spain! They aren’t kidding when they say the Spaniards love their tapas, siestas and staying up late. We were pretty happy living this life for a little while.

Besides enjoying the food and adjusting to the cultural differences, we were on a mission to find great wine. It was even harder to find small farmers in Spain than it was in Portugal. Spain is popular enough now that large wine co-ops, making millions of bottles per year, have moved in to dominate the market. I’ve quite often heard people in the U.S. saying, “you can find wine from Spain for next to nothing.” That might be true for wine from these co-ops, but we’re not in the business of buying mass produced wine at 30 cents a bottle to ship to the U.S. and sell for $8.

With the help of a few people we succeeded in meeting some small producers. It was amazing how a six hour drive from Portugal to Spain resulted in such different wines and terroir. In Spain the weather is warmer and they almost exclusively use the Tempranillo grape. This makes for big, bold wines. Fruit prevailed on the nose and palette. Spain has a history of using more oak in the winemaking process than any other country. But now it’s common for wineries to make two different styles: wine aged in oak or young unoaked wine meant to drink a year or two after harvest.

We tasted unbalanced, young wines that were way too tart and sharp to enjoy. We tasted wines that were overpowered by oak. Many wines were good but not special. I’m fine with drinking wine sometimes that is average and enjoyable, but I’m not interested in importing it.

But… I am excited that we indeed found a few gems! Two wines in particular are single varietal wines from 100 year old naturally farmed vines.  They have been made with minimal intervention and as an added bonus are not fined or filtered! The flavor and smoothness of these wines is enough to knock your socks off. Hallelujah! These are two wines we’ll be selling at an incredible value.

You can get your hands on the excellent wines we discovered in Spain by choosing a case from our Spain/Portugal 2015 Collection.

– Alleah

Music Attribution: “Reverie (a small theme)” by _ghost (

BTW, natural and delicious wines don't have to be expensive. Have you tried any of ours yet?

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