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Aragon

Aragón is a relatively small wine-growing region situated in the northeast part of Spain between Rioja and Catalonia in the valley of the Ebro River. Viticulture was already practised in the 2nd century BC making the region one of the oldest in the country, and today the modern wine region of Aragón is linked to the medieval kingdom of Aragón.

The climate of the region is very extreme and can be characterised as moderate continental influenced by the high altitude topography. The northern part of the region, close to the Pyrenees, is cooler, with vineyards planted at an average above sea level of 750 metres. In the southern part, vineyards are planted considerably low, no more than 200 meters, with warmer temperature. This diversity of climate is determining different styles, making sometimes very challenging to produce high quality wines. Not to be forgotten is the Ebro river, which plays a key role in moderating the climate of the region.

There are four wine-growing areas in Aragón: Calatayud, Campo de Borja, Cariñena and Somontano. The last one is by far the most famous of all and the most northerly located as its name suggests in Spanish "at the foot of the mountain" Pyrenees well known for its balanced and high-quality wines. Campo de Borja is a very small district notable for its old vines of Garnacha (same as Grenache), which is also the main varietal in the Cariñena and Calatayud wine-growing areas. Garnacha is the king of the region, other popular grape varieties include, Cariñena, Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Monastrell, Merlot, Syrah and Viura.

Still a big part of the producers in the region are large cooperatives which are playing an important role in the production of the traditional wines of Aragón. In the past decade, there has been a new wave of young producers which are making more natural wines in much smaller quantities and are attracting international attention. The region has enormous potential if it can move away from the shadow of the well established neighbouring regions.

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