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Spain has 2.9 million acres of vineyards and is the most widely-planted wine-producing nation. There are 400 varieties of grapes with 80% of production originating from 20 grape varieties including Tempranillo, Albarino, Garnacha, Mencia, Palomino, Macabeo, Xarel-lo, and Monastrell. Some of the major wine regions include Rioja, Ribera del Duero, Toro, Jerez, and Priorat.
Under Roman rule, Spanish wine was sold throughout the Roman Empire and wine production continued during the rule of the Moors. Following the Spanish Reconquesta, exportation of Spanish wines continued with Spanish missionaries and conquistadors bringing European vine stock to the New World.
In the late 19th century, the sparkling wine industry (Cava) began and by the 20th century, Cava production rivaled that of Champagne. Civil and political upheaval and two world wars adversely affected the Spanish wine industry, but the 1950’s brought with it a revival. In the 21st century, Spain is now considered a serious wine-producing country and home to many extraordinary values. Famous Brands to look for include Vega Sicilia, Pesquera, Clos Mogador, Clos Erasmus, Segura Viudas, Muga and Castano.
Assistant Wine Manager, Premium Wine & Spirits
A former Metropolitan Opera Regional winner, Bruce holds a Master of Music Degree from the Eastman School of Music and has been an active professional singer and voice teacher in the Buffalo area for 35 years, including 31 as tenor soloist and 22 as adjunct professor of theatre at Niagara University. He has worked an equal number of years in the wine and liquor industry, the last ten of which as a member of the wine staff at Premium Wines, where he is currently Assistant Wine Manager. The compatibility of music and wine, he believes, is the profound human expression of sound and structure, nature and the winemaker’s art, respectively. Partial to wines of the Loire and Germany, Sherry and White Burgundy, he likes all wines that resonate with the character of their place of origin. He sings lead in the store’s “Bottleshop Quartet.”