The spanish’s wine regions are known as ‘denominaciónes’ in the way that French wines are classified by ‘appellation’. This is a system which is used to classify and regulate grape variety and region of origin. It has 2 “qualified” DO’s, which means regions whose quality standards are a bit higher than the rest. Those are DOC Rioja and DOQ Priorat. DOC stands for Denominación de Origen Calificada or Qualified Appellation of Origin. DOQ is the same but derives from the Catalan dialect of Spanish, and uses Qualificada instead. Each region of Spain has a wine quite distinct from the others, and it is produced by smallholders and families as much as it is by large companies and established wineries.
There are more than 50 wine regions with the best reds coming from Rioja, Ribero del Duero and Navarra in the north and the top whites coming from Rueda and Penedes in Catalonia. Spanish wine has kept pace, generating an explosion of new wines, wineries, brands, and regions that is unprecedented in vinous history. During the past decade and a half, the number of designated Spanish wine regions (Denominaciones de Origen or DOs) has grown by more than a third to a total of 69, and Spain has created a new set of laws, doubling the wine quality categories and introducing top wines from regions never known for quality wine.