Spanish wine has been in the news off and on over the past few years. The quality of wines coming out of Spain for the price point is virtually still unequalled in the world of wine today. Some would argue with this statement; but when you add the tremendous breadth of varietals available, Spain truly is still the wine world’s “hot spot” with a plethora of possibility.
As a confirmed Hispanophile, I will be the first to tell you I have a love affair with opening and savoring a high-end bottle of wine from any of Spain’s famed wine regions. But I am also a quintessential bargain hunter (please do not confuse this with cheap, poorly made wine). Life is way too short to drink bad wine.
A few years ago I was introduced to a Spaniard whose passion for introducing the world to the treasures of Spanish wine was only eclipsed by his gregarious nature. Enter uber-friendly and hyper-energetic Ignasi Lopez. We immediately hit if off at a tasting he was hosting in San Diego and our parallel passions for bringing quality, affordable Spanish wine to the forefront of the American wine scene created a wonderful synergy.
Ignasi, along with his business partner Robert Hunter (a Brit), founded Vinergia in 2005. Their knowledge of the Spanish wine industry, vineyards, geography, and the people involved has helped to create a brand which continues to gain notoriety around the world. Additionally, they created the Campos de España range of wines in an effort to showcase the broad range of regions and varietals Spain has to offer.
A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to join Ignasi and Robert on a road trip touring the Campos de España wineries throughout Spain. Needless to say, the experience was tremendous and unforgettable. In just five days we covered some 1000 plus miles, travelled through gorgeous landscapes, tasted amazing wines, and ate some of the best food on the planet. And as it all ended, I had a much greater appreciation for the remarkable diversity of terroirs and wines Spain has to offer.
The Campos de España family dots the Spanish landscape and consists of eight wineries, each one showcasing the major traditional (and in most cases, indigenous) varietals of that particular region. The wines are authentic and quintessentially Spanish. The high-quality wines also represent the incredible value Spain has to offer. The line consists of eight wineries producing 17 wines.
Campos de Celtas (“Celtic Fields”) – Located in the Rías Baixas DO (Galicia), this winery was built in 2006 and showcases Spain’s star white varietal – Albariño. Grapes are grown on trellises called “parrals” due to the high humidity in the area. The Campos de Celtas vineyards grow in slightly warmer temperatures leading to riper, more concentrated flavors with higher acid. Classic, delicious Albariño.
Campos de Néboa (“Fields of Mist”) – This family-owned winery was first built in 1998 and is located in DO Valdeorras (between the DOs of Bierzo, Ribeira Sacra, and Ribeiro) in Galicia. The vineyards sit above the valley floor overlooking the River Sil. Two varietals thrive in this area – Godello (white) and Mencía (red). Both wines are 100% varietally pure and aged only in stainless steel. The Godello is floral with well-balanced body while the Mencía shows expressive notes of fresh cherries and ripe plum with a soft, balanced finish.
Campos de Sueños (“Fields of Dreams”) – Finding its home in the DO Rueda, the Campos de Sueños wine spotlights the Verdejo grape. Rueda sits approximately 700 meters above sea level and the winery (built in 2010) and is focused on producing classic Verdejo with fresh, fruity, and grassy aromas and a refreshingly delicious taste.
Campos de Hojas (“Fields of Leaves”) – The DO Rioja needs no introduction. This region is well-known for its incredible red wines, predominantly blends, of which Tempranillo and Garnacha are the two most important varietals. Located in Rioja Alta, the Campos de Hojas winery was built in 2000 and produces wines using the latest technology. Three wines are produced here including a Crianza and Reserva. Primarily Tempranillo, these wines also have some Garnacha blended in. Again, a classic range of wines from Rioja. Try all three to taste the tremendous breadth of the region.
Campos de Luz (“Fields of Light”) – The DO Cariñena houses an incredibly modern winery (built in 2003) with an annual capacity of three million bottles. Garnacha is really the star here, but other varietals (both red and white) are grown with much success. The Campos de Luz line is a full line-up – white, rosé, and red (including Crianza and Reserva wines). The white, rosé, and (basic) red wines all are aged solely in stainless steel while the Crianza and Reserva both see oak aging. All wines are 100% Garnacha with the exception of the white wine (composed of Viura, Chardonnay, and Muscat). These wines are extremely accesible and one of my all-time favorite “go-to” daily wines.
Camps d’Estels (“Fields of Stars”) – How can you have a line of Spanish wines without a delicious sparkler? The DO Cava produces some of the world’s best sparkling wines (made in the traditional method) and the Campos de España line has its own. This winery was built in 2004 and produces three delicious non-vintage sparkling wines. The Brut Nature and Brut wines are made from the three traditional cava grapes (Xarel-lo, Macabeo, and Parellada) while the Brut Rosé is made from 100% Pinot Noir.
Campos de Viento (“Fields of Wind”) – Situated on the meseta (higher plains), the DO La Mancha produces some of Spain’s best Tempranillo. Covering three large estates, the area is generally dry and windy (hence the windmills dotting the landscape). 100% Tempranillo with no oak aging, the Campos de Viento shows fresh fruits of cranberries, blackberries, and strawberries reminiscent of Tempranillo. Well-balanced with the same fruit flavors, this wine is full-bodied with ripe tanning and a lengthy finish.
Campos de Risca (“Fields of Rocks”) – Monastrell is the third-most planted varietal in Spain and is found mostly in the southeast corner of the country. This drought-resistent grape show extremely well in the Jumilla DO. The soils here are incredibly rocky (known as “Risca”) which help to retain any moisture. The winery was built in 2003 and has a total capacity of two million liters. Sometimes blended with a small percentage of Syrah, this wine is unoaked and exhibits deep purple hues and red and black fruits with full body and a long finish.
Varietal purity and value. These are the wines of Campos de España. These wines show a tremendous sense of place and will take you on a journey around Spain which will likely not be forgotten any time soon. Seek them out and take yourself on your own journey. You will not regret it!
Life is short. Drink Spanish wine!