Spain is one of the biggest wine-producing countries, third to France and Italy. There are all sorts of native grape varieties but 80 percent of the wines produced here come from the same 20 grapes, many of which you've probably had in your glass before: Tempranillo, Albariño, Garnacha, and the cava grapes, Macabeo, Parellada, and Xarel-lo.
While on a wine-drinking and Spain-romping trip recently sponsored by Freixenet, we visited many of the major wine regions including Rioja and Ribera del Duero, primarily known for growing Tempranillo grapes, then it was off to Priorat in southwest Catalonia to try Garnacha and other powerful reds, and we finally ended up in Penedés near Barcelona for bubbly cava made at the Freixenet and Segura Viudas wineries.
Here are some snapshots from my trip: the wines, the grapes, the hillsides, the oak barrels, and the chorizo bites in between sips. Check out the slideshow!