Kravitz still has a knack for finding good wines at great prices – Robert Parker, Parker on Wine, BusinessWeek, 8/20 & 27, 2007

Hand Picked Selections in Aragon

East of Navarra, Aragon is a large, proud, historic region of Spain with substantial vineyards, scattered mostly over its southwestern corner with a small, relatively new vineyard coming of age in the northeast. Besides the inevitable (for northeastern Spain) Cava, there are four Denominaciones all competing more or less successfully on world markets.

This is a classically Spanish region, feeling like the heart of the country despite being geographically well north and east of the center. The region stretches from the Pyrenees southwest about halfway to Madrid. The mountains that dominate the northern part offer spectacular scenery with plentiful pristine lakes. Southwest is the valley of the Ebro, Spain's great river, with wide dusty vistas punctuated by beautiful old cities filled with lovingly cared-for medieval monuments.

All four of Aragon's D.O.'s grow red, white and rose. Campo de Borja has a fair amount of rose and Cariñena a substantial percentage of white, but these are still essentially red wine districts.

The biggest D.O. is Cariñena. The district and its principal town give their name to France's and one of the world's most widely grown varietals - Cariñena in Spanish, Carignan in French and Carignane in the U.S. However the most widely planted varietal (55% of the vineyard area) is Garnacha (Grenache). White Viura accounts for 20%, Tempranillo 15% and the eponymous varietal barely 5% of the vineyards.

Aragon is not one of the biggest of Spain's wine regions, but the totals for the four DOs are not insignificant - over 10 million cases come from almost 80,000 acres. This indicates extremely low yields. In fact, some vineyards are not in production, some grapes find their way into wines with a DO and some go to sparkling wine, not included in these numbers. Yields are low, even by Spanish standards but not the less than 2 tons per acre that the raw number suggest.



Las Valles