Northeast Spain seen from Slowwines' perspective encompasses the green hills of the Basque Country (Txakoli), bordered by the Atlantic ocean, then following the foothills of the prepyrenees mountain we soon reach the fertile plateaus of Navarra. Further East, nestling in another hight plateau, Somontano is the last big wine Northen region of Spain before the widely known autonomous region of Catalonia.
Located on a high plateau in the mountainous area of Huesca, the wine region of Somontano, as its name may suggest , means "Under the Mountain". The region is undoubtedly a place to visit, displaying eratic hills, remote hamlets, and lonely hilltop monasteries. The principal wine town is Barbastro, with most of the wineries close by.
The climate in this part of Spain is continental with tempteratures going to both range of extremes, with hot summers and snowy winter months, and extremely sudden changes in temperature when the seasons change. The regions has optimum growing conditions with above 290 of sunlight days per year. There are about 3,000 ha under vine registered by the locale authority
Only five prominent wineries (namely Enate, Bodegas Pirineos and Viñas del Vero) can claim to rule the house in Somontano.
Traditionally, the indigenous grapes used created very rustic wines (local grapes include Moristel, Parraleta for red wine, and Macabeo and Alcañon for white wine). These traditional styles of wine have been completely and utterly uprooted and replaced with the new wave of modern winemaking, using many international varietals (including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and Gewurztraminer) and Spanish noble grapes such as Tempranillo. The key players in this wine region are the above mentioned wineries who have invested millions in ultra modern wineries, star winemakers and wine tourism infrastructure. Whereas in other parts of Spain it can be impossible to visit wineries, Enate, Bodegas Pirineos and Viñas del Vero have set out to be main attractions on Spanish wine tours. The region offers the gourmet tourist a complete package: cozy restaurants tucked away in romantic, historic villages offering the excellent local cuisine (high on game, artisan cheeses, rich vegetable dishes and homemade sausage chorizos); stunning modern wineries who open their doors to happy, wine loving visitors; and wonderful landscapes and scenery
In Navarra, Garnacha is used for their stellar dry rosé wines.