Our Aragon wine trip takes us to a region with a reputation for producing some excellent sweet wines from the Moscatel
grape variety - but that's not all you will discover here. There are also some good quality young white wines and a
wide range of full-bodied reds from the four
Denominaciónes de Origen: Campo de Borja, Calatayud, Cariñena and Somontana.
The traditional red wines of this region were historically famed for their strength and robust character, a perfect match for the hearty stews and casseroles that dominate the countryside cuisine. As the food of the region has developed, so have the wines with less punchy reds now being produced. The winemakers of Aragon may have changed their philosophy but it has not come at the expense of quality.
Aragon wine production is about embracing new techniques to develop the traditional characters of the region, delivering modern and interesting wines that give a respectful nod to the past. The Somontana D.O. has been the surprising trailblazer in this revolution with the other regions following close behind. As a result, world wine experts are now talking about the wine regions of Aragon with excitement rather than scepticism.
The Campo de Borja D.O. is known for its garnacha grapes. Some of the vines in this region date back to 1145 and most have been established for many decades. There is a relatively small amount of wine produced but nonetheless, it is renowned for its complexity, structure and aroma.
The Cariñena D.O. can be found in the heart of the Ebro Valley. Here, there are around 15,000 hectares dedicated to vines and over 1,500 wine growers working hard to ensure that the wine is of a high quality. The region relies on the wine trade to support the local communities.
This geographical location of the region puts it on a connective route with the Basque Country, Valencia and the French border, creating strong trading opportunities in Spain and beyond.
The Somontano D.O. cover three different zones of varying terrain and covers over 200,000 hectares of which around 5,000 hectares are planted with vineyards. The wines are grown at the foot of the Pyrenees Mountains in the local province of Huesca.
The region has cold winters and hot summers with big temperature changes from winter to spring and autumn to winter. The winemakers take full advantage of the conditions to develop wines of a very high standard.