1) Spanish wine was the Romans’ favourite tipple
Wine has been produced in Spain since the first century AD. The Roman historian Pliny the elder raved about wines made from the area known today as Alella, which is 20 minutes from Barcelona. Another Roman, Ovid, noted the most popular wine in Rome (from Spain of course) known as Saguntum, was only good for getting your mistress drunk. The Catalan regional government found remnants of an ancient Roman wine press in Teia, near Alella, and have developed an interactive museum tour to see just how wine was made during this time.
2) A record breaking exporter
Spain is the top exporter of wine in the world. In 2014, Spain exported 22.8 million hectolitres with the majority of it going to France. Not only is Spain a top exporter, but in 2014 it was the third largest producer of wine, behind France (1) and Italy (2) with 42 million hectolitres produced. While everyone thinks of Rioja when they think of Spanish wine, the top area for volume is actually Castille-La Mancha near the capital of Madrid.
3) Different classifications
Spain has 78 sub-regions of wine across 17 provinces of the country, including the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands. They are classified as Denominación de Origen (DO) and Denominación de Origen Calificada (DOC). Both denote wineries meet stringent requirements to produce wine, with the DOC designation being the highest quality. Currently only two regions have met DOC requirement in Spain, Rioja and Priorat. In Catalonia, it is referred to as DOQ Priorat due to the Catalan language spelling and pronunciation.