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New Wave Spanish White Wine

Think of Spanish Wines and your first thought will probably be of oaky, red Riojas. Spain has been well known to wine lovers worldwide for years as a reliable source of good value rich, red wines. But until recently if you asked a non-Spaniard to name a Spanish white wine region, you’d be hard pressed. However, huge investment, a growing economy, increased confidence and a new generation of young winemakers have brought massive changes to the Spanish wine industry as a whole.

White wines are now made enthusiastically all over Spain , from Celtic Galicia to Arabic Andalusia; from the Pyrenees to the Mediterranean Coast . Southern Spain is famed for its unique Sherries and Montillas, but the producers in the area are now making fresh, young whites from the Palomino grape. Classic Sherry bodegas include Lustau and Gonzales Byass. In the Mediterranean , particularly Alicante , excellent white dessert wines are made from the Moscatel grape. Enrique Mendoza is a great wine producer in Alicante . Northwest, in Somontano, excellent still white wines are produced with mainly international grape varieties such as Chardonnay and Gewurztraminer. Top wineries in Somontano include Enate and Viñas del Vero. All of these wines are noteworthy, but the four most exciting white wine regions in 2004 have definitely got to be Rueda, Rias Baixas, Penedès and Priorat.

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