July 9, 2014 Leave a comment
This Friday (July 11, 2014) at noon central time, I’ll be offering a free-to-the-public, live-on-line webinar all about “The Dirt on Spain.” Sub-titled “A terroir-tinged trip through the tierra of Spain,” this session will look at five of Spain’s wine regions that have a particular link to the unique physical geography, climate, or soil of the region.
Here is a taste of what we’ll be covering!
Priorat: Priorat is a dynamic wine region in Catalonia – and one of the smallest wine regions in Spain. If you look at a map you’ll see that Priorat is close to the Mediterranean Sea. The sea’s influence on the hot, dusty climate, however is minimal, due to the position of the Catalan Coastal Range. Rainfall here is so low that it is equal to dry, dusty Montilla-Moriles down in Andalucía.
The famous llicorella soils, the steep, terraced vineyards, and legendary low yields lend rich, deep, concentration to the Garnacha-based wines of Priorat.
Rías Baxias: The name Rías Baixas means “’low rías” and was chosen because of the coastal inlets that characterize the landscape. Rías are a type of estuary, and if you don’t remember what an estuary is, it is a place where a river runs into the sea. The river running into the sea forms an area of “brackish” water, which means a mix of salt and fresh water.
The drowning of river valleys along a stretch of coast and formation of rías results in an extremely irregular and indented coastline. San Francisco Bay, Charleston Harbor, and Chesapeake Bay are all examples of this type of “drowned river valley” estuary. Other types of estuaries include lagoons and fjords.
Rías Baixas, known for its crisp, fruity, floral-scented white wines based on the Albariño grape variety, is perhaps the best-known wine region in Galicia. The maritime climate in Galicia has led to its nickname as “Green Spain. It rains quite a bit here – as high as 71 inches per year.
Rioja: The Rioja DOCa is located to the south of the Sierra Cantabrian Mountain. The Rioja Alavesa sub-region is tucked into the foothills of these mountains, and benefits from the altitude (1,300–3,930ft/400–1,200m), and the chalky clay and limestone soils on the slopes and terraces.
The Sierra de la Demanda, part of the western section of the larger Sistema Ibérico, runs through along the southern edge of the Rioja Alta. The Rioja Baja region sits at at lower elevations, and as a result is drier, and flatter than its neighbors to the west. The soils also differ significantly; the chalk content is minimal, with larger proportions of silt and alluvial components as well as ferrous-clay. Drought is also a real threat.
We’ll also be covering Jerez and Ribera del Duero. For more information, including the link and login information for the session, click here.
The Bubbly Professor is…”Miss Jane” Nickles of Austin, Texas email@example.com