In 905 King Sancho I founded his own kingdom of Navarre (Basque Nafarroa) with the capital Pamplona. In its heyday under Sancho III. (990-1035) it reached on both sides of the Pyrenees from Barcelona to Bordeaux. The first inhabitants were the Basques, whose influences can still be felt today. The Count of Champagne Thibaut I inherited the kingdom in 1234, after which it was administered by several French ruling lines. In 1512, the greater part of Upper Navarre, south of the Pyrenees, was annexed by Ferdinand II of Aragon and thus Spanish. The son of the Queen of Navarre, Joanna, ascended the French throne in 1589 as King Henri IV (1553-1610) and incorporated the northern part into the Kingdom of France in 1607. The area has a very old winegrowing tradition. Near the village of Funes, an ancient Roman cellar with a capacity of about 75,000 litres was found.
In the 11th century, the famous pilgrimage route "Camino de Santiago" (to Santiago de Compostela in Galicia) ran through Pamplona. The pilgrims enjoyed wines from Rioja and Navarre to the west along the road, and a lively export of Spanish wines to Normandy developed as a result. Navarre was already famous for its rosé wines (Rosados) in the 15th century. After the discovery of America in 1492, the area experienced a great wine boom. The ships to the New World were loaded with wine from Navarre. At the end of the 19th century, phylloxera destroyed almost 100% of the 50,000 hectares of land that were then under vine and they were completely replanted. In 1911 one of the first Spanish winegrowers' cooperatives was founded in Navarra. The EVENA Research Institute has played a major role in the upswing in viticulture.
Today, the region of Navarre, with special autonomous rights in northeastern Spain, also forms its own huge DO area with 17,300 hectares of vineyards. There is also a DO regulation for the famous sloe liqueur Pacharán. Geographically, the large area is divided into the five sub-areas Tierra Estelba and Valdizarbe in the north, Baja Montaña and Ribera Alta north of the Ebro River in the centre and the largest area, Ribera Baja, with a 30% share, in the south. There are four areas defined as Vino de Pago: Finca Bolandín, Pago de Arínzano, Pago de Otazu and Prado de Irache. A small part of the region in the west belongs to the DO area Rioja.