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Comprehensive description of all European growing areas, their grape varieties, traditions and legal rules with maps.

D.O. Cariñena

Description to D.O. Cariñena

DO area in the north-eastern Spanish region of Aragon, which is named after the city of the same name. It is one of the oldest wine-growing areas in Spain, and in 1960 it was the very first area to receive the then newly introduced DO classification. The vineyards cover around 17,000 hectares of vineyards in the 14 municipalities of Aguarón, Aladrén, Alfamén, Almonacid de la Sierra, Alpartier, Cariñena, Cosuenda, Encinacorba, Longares, Mezalocha, Muel, Paniza, Tosos and Villanueva de Huerva in the Ebro Valley, up to the mountains of the Sistema Ibérico at an altitude of 400 to 800 metres above sea level. In 2010 the Pago Aylés vineyard was classified as Vino de Pago.

The poor soils are made up of dark limestone and dark earth on alluvial deposits. The climate is characterised by dry, hot summers and cold winters with little rainfall. Red wine varieties are cultivated to 75% and white wine varieties to 25%. The red Garnacha Tinta dominates with over half of the area, followed by Tempranillo, Cariñena/Mazuela(Mazuelo), Juan Ibáñez(Moristel), Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot. The main white variety is Macabeo (20%), followed by Garnacha Blanca, Moscatel Romano(Muscat d'Alexandrie), Parellada and Chardonnay.

The formerly traditionally heavy, alcohol-rich and long-lasting wines (also produced in the sherry style) have lost their importance. However, bottles of this wine, which are up to 100 years old, are still offered on the market. For the most part, (young wines) in red, rosé and white are produced today. In the wine-growing area a Cava may also be produced. More than 90% of the production is managed by huge winegrowers cooperatives such as Bodegas Gran Ducay, Borja, Grandes Vinos y Viñedos and San Valero, but more and more private cellars are emerging. Other well-known producers are Bodegas del Señorío, Covinca, Pago Aylés, Solar de Urbezo, Viñedos y Bodegas Esteban Martín, Viñedos y Bodegas Pablo, Virgen del Águila, Virgen de La Sierra and Winner Wines

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