The region surrounds the city of Zaragoza in the high plains of Aragon, an arid, windswept area south of Rioja. With a history dating back to Roman times, Cariñena’s winemaking roots run deep. It was the second wine region in Spain to gain denomination of origin status, in 1932.
Yet, for all its history as a winemaking region, DOP Cariñena is a relative newcomer on the modern wine scene in Spain, having only gained traction in the collective consciousness in the last decade or so, thanks to a new generation of growers and producers who have come together to create a vision for their brands and help re-establish Cariñena as a region to consider.
While the Cariñena grape variety is grown in this area, the main grape of focus in DOP Cariñena is Garnacha, which thrives in the area’s mostly shale and clay soils. In fact, Cariñena has the most plantings of old-vine Garnacha in Spain. Plantings average 30 to 40 years and some top the century mark.