Spain is well known as a wine producing country, and produces a number of wine grape varieties. It is particularly well known for its red wines, which often combine spicy, berry flavors with earthiness and sophisticated tannins. Spain's diverse climate means it is ideal for wine production.
The word Tempranillo in Spanish means "little early one," and this refers to the grape's early ripening. The grape is prominent in Spain, but is grown in a few other locations. Although it grows well in both cool and warm climates, hotter temperatures tend to dull the grape's flavor and produce bland wine. It produces wine low in acidity and natural sugars, but high in tannin.
Bobal, a red wine grape, is grown mainly in the area around Valencia, in the region called Utiel-Requena. Small quantities are grown elsewhere in Spain, but the vast majority of Bobal production is centered around the neighboring towns of Utiel and Requena. It was long though of as bland, but in recent years, small vineyards have challenged that perception, producing fruity and acidic wines with complex flavors.
Garnacha is the third most-grown red wine grape variety in Spain, behind Tempranillo and Bobal. Garnacha is the Spanish name for the Grenache variety, which has its roots in France's Rhone valley. The grape produces wine heavy with berry flavors and spicy notes, but which lacks acidity and tannins. As such, it is commonly blended with other varieties, notably Syrah.
Like Garnacha, Monastrell is another red wine grape that carries flavors commonly associated with the Rhone region of France. It was, however, introduced to France from Catalonia. It grows well in hot climates, and has been planted heavily throughout the Murcia region of Spain. It combines well with Garnacha, and when the two are blended, it provides a softening balance with earthy flavors.
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