The D.O. Navarra wine region is located in the north of Spain, between the Pyrenees and the Ebro River Valley, with its main city of Pamplona. A key characteristic of the (Designation of Origin) D.O. Navarra area is the extraordinary diversity of its climate and landscape which spread across more than 100 kilometres - the regions proximity of the Bay of Biscay in the north and the temperate influence of the Ebro river plain to the south.
Soils within the D.O. Navarra are mainly calcareous and limestone, deep and relatively gritty, with variable texture and fertility, of medium to light consistency, soft and very healthy. A phenomenon which gives rise to the wealth and wide array of wines under D.O. Navarra; from robust, deep reds to fresh, elegant whites, while not forgetting the rosés which have always been the region’s hallmark wines.
The D.O. Navarra protects the vineyards and wines of 95 towns exclusively. In 2010, D.O. Navarra celebrated its 75th anniversary, making it one of the oldest appellations in Spain. However, the region’s winemaking history goes back much further as records of vine cultivation and winemaking date from the Roman period.
At the end of the 19th century, the Navarra wine industry was enjoying great prosperity - however, when the phylloxera plague struck, it left only 1,500 hectares of vines untouched from the region’s total of 50,000ha. Today Navarra has approximately 11,700ha of vines from where more than a hundred bodegas grow their precious grapes.
The tremendous diversity is the result of the five wine regions which make up the appellation: ‘Baja Montaña’, ‘Tierra Estella’, ‘Valdizarbe’, ‘Ribera Alta’, and ‘Ribera Baja’. Rainfall, soil composition and relief generate a mosaic of microclimates which, in turn, determine the grape varieties which adapt best to each region.
In the 1980’s, non-indigenous varietals were introduced such as the Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. These varieties started to be grown alongside the native Viura, Tempranillo and Garnacha - the latter being the most widely grown and most popular varietal in the region.
The great majority of the regions vineyards (more than 70%) are planted with native grape varieties, primarily Garnacha and Tempranillo. Approximately 94% of the grapes grown in Navarra are red, while the remaining 6% are white. Grape varieties endorsed by the regions appellation, from most planted to least are: Tempranillo, Garnacha Tinta, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Graciano, Mazuelo, Syrah, and Pinot Noir in red varietals. Chardonnay, Viura, Moscatel de Grano Menudo, Sauvignon Blanc, Malvasía, and Garnacha Blanca in white varietals.