Aragon scales the heights of quality

This much-coveted region located in the north of present-day Spain has been invaded multiple times, by assailants travelling from Africa, Northern and Eastern Europe.

The name Aragón seems to emerge for the first time in 828, during the Carolingian period, after the name of the river and its tributary, the Aragón Subordán, which cuts across the region. In more modern times, Aragon became an autonomous community in 1978, with its powers extended in 1996. These changes resulted in a new status in 2007.

The wine region is home to a number of vineyard sites within the autonomous community. It encompasses four appellations and six geographical indications under the Vinos de la Tierra de Aragón designation. As with other provinces, some locations fall within the Cava appellation. This is a wine region with a fairly harsh, continental climate which traditionally produced very run-of-the-mill wines with high alcohol content. Since then, a huge amount of work has been achieved, vineyard sites have been identified and as part of the process, the most promising areas have been hived off. Some of these DOs particularly stand out for their quality, primarily Calatayud, Cariñena and Somontano.

Aragon is probably less of a tourist hotspot than say the Basque Country, Rioja or Catalonia, but it certainly produces interesting wines at similarly interesting price points. Read about them in our feature report (pages 44-53) and in our Summer Selection (page 123).

Although Aragon’s wines are still less publicised than those from the more prominent regions, this land of contrasts with a very eventful history has successfully set its sights on quality and proven that it is now a force to be reckoned with in the wine arena, not just in Spain but also internationally.



By Isabelle Escande photographs - courtesy of the estates