The 10 P.D.O (Protected denomination of origin) wines along the French Camino

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Have you ever heard the Spanish proverb “With bread and wine you can walk your road”? I am sure you have. What´s more, if you have ever walked El Camino I am sure that you have found yourself, at some point, bread in hand (filled with something or without) and a glass of wine to replenish your energy after an exhausting stage.

Luckily, the Iberian peninsula has many well differentiated regions with a variety of climatology that makes possible the production of many different kinds of wine with their own special characteristics.

In order to understand better the complex world of wines, we need to know that there are different categories of wine according to their quality and the place of origin, to guarantee the consumer that the wine comes from a particular region and that it has been produced under certain standards or traditional methods.

The term used in the European Union is PDO (Protected Denomination of Origin), but there are also other terms such as V.C. (Vino de Calidad) or Quality Wine, D.O.Ca (Qualified Denomination of Origin) or V.P (Vinos de Pagos), the last one, an exclusive marker for a wine, because of the small microclimate where the grape is grown, the special variety of grape and also  it has to be produced  within the same are and according to traditional  methods.

El Camino de Santiago crosses many areas where grapes are grown for wine making, and some of these are world renowned for their quality and prestige. For these reasons and because we love a good wine, we introduce you to this small catalogue of the 10 wine D.O.  in El Camino de Santiago, specifically the French Route of El Camino.

 

1. DO SOMONTANOsomontano

Region: Aragón
Founded1984
Grape variety: Moristel, Tempranillo, Garnacha y Parraleta.

Characteristics:
Wines of great personality and peculiarities, different from other wines from the same region of Aragon. It has a relatively low alcohol percentage and also low acidity. They are light and soft fruity wines.

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2. DO NAVARRAnavarra

Region: Navarra
Founded1933
Grape varietyTempranillo, Graciano, Cabernet Sauvignon, Garnacha, Merlot, Mazuela.

Characteristics:
The wines from Navarra are predominantly of purple and garnet hues. On the nose, it is fruity, fruits of the forest and some tinges of liquorice. Strong flavoured that goes perfectly with stews, roasts and grilled meats.

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3. DOCa RIOJArioja

Region: Navarra
Founded: 1925
Grape variety Tempranillo, Garnacha tinta, Mazuelo, Graciano, Maturana tinta, Maturana parda y Monastel.

Characteristics:
Rioja wines are fresh, aromatic, well balanced and of excellent bouquet, all of this  makes them a very versatile wine that goes well easily with any type of gastronomy, hence its great success. It ages wonderfully too.

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4. DO ARLANZAarlanza

Region: Castilla y León
Founded: 2007
Grape variety: Tinta del País, Mencía, Garnacha,Cabernet Sauvignon.

Characteristics:
Lively and strong on the nose, well balanced and medium-bodied, with flavours of fruit and oak. These wines have a balanced acidity.

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5. DO TIERRA DE LEÓNtierras de leon

Region: Castilla y León
Founded: 2007
Grape Variety: Prieto Picudo, Mencía, Tempranillo, Garnacha.

Characteristics:
Hints of red fruits, ripe blackberries, herbs, spices and oak. They are wide wines and well balanced, full bodied and with strong lasting flavour.

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6. DO BIERZObierzo

Region: Castilla y León
Founded: 1989
Grape variety: Mencía y Garnacha tinta.

Characteristics:
Strong bouquet and flavours of fruit, the closest in style to other European wines. It is elegant, creamy, with a strong character and intense bouquet.

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7. DO VALDEORRASvaldeorras

Region: Castilla y León
Founded: 1977
Grape variety: Mencía, Tempranillo, Brancellao, Merenzao, Sousón, Caíño tinto, Espadeiro, Ferrón, Grao negro, Garnacha tintorera, Negreda.

Characteristics:
Long lasting flavour and high tanning, they are full-bodied wines of purple hue. It has an elegant bouquet.

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8. DO RIBEIRA SACRAribera sacra

Region: Galicia
Founded: 1997
Grape variety: Mencía, Brancellao y Merenzao.

Characteristics:
The Romans knew it as “Liquid gold from the Sil” because of its intense yellow colour. The white wines from  Ribeira Sacra are known for its lightness and aroma, they are very flavoursome.

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9. DO RIBEIROribeiro

Region: Galicia
Founded: 1956
Grape variety: Caíño tinto, Sousón, Ferrón, Mencía, Tempranillo, Brancellao, Garnacha tintorera.

Characteristics:
Light, crisp, fruity and dry on the palate. They have high acidity and exquisite bouquet.

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10. DO RÍAS BAIXASrias baixas

Region: Galicia
Founded: 1988
Grape variety: Caíño tinto, Espadeiro, Loureira tinta, Sousón.

Characteristics:
Some learned people have them as the most prestigious white wines within the Iberian peninsula. Bright in colour and and delicate and fruity bouquet, with lasting flavour.

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BONUS: VP DE OTAZU, VP PRADO DE IRACHE Y VP DE ARINZANOvp

Region: Navarra

Characteristics:
These three denominations of Vino de Pagos (VP) are all in the province of Navarra, they belong to a very specific terrain. These wineries have very small productions but of great quality. The one with the closest link to El Camino de Santiago is Irache Winery (Bodega Irache), famous for its wine fountain on the side of the road in El Camino, in Ayegui.

There are plenty of wines along any of the routes of El Camino. I hope you found this small compilation useful, and that it helps you enjoy, even more, the gastronomic variety, with its many typical dishes, in each of the towns and cities along El Camino.

Salud!

Translation: Elvira Sánchez.

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About Author

Isaac Martínez

Soy diseñador multimedia, hiker experimentado y arquitecto de Rutas en Vojo. Un día descubrí el Camino de Santiago y ya no me lo pude sacar de la cabeza. Me gustaría compartir con todos vosotros la experiencia y conocimientos que he podido adquirir a lo largo de cientos de kilómetros recorridios por esta y otras rutas, y dar a conocer consejos, historias y curiosidades que te ayuden a disfrutar mucho más tu Camino.

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