Denominación de Origen

May 24, 2024 by
Maytte Rivera

Denominación de Origen, or “designation of origin”, is a Spanish system of classification that identifies wines from a specific geographical area which share quality characteristics reflecting the terroir of the zone of production.  The production parameters for each Denominación de Origen (DO) are established by the Consejo Regulador, an entity conformed by local grape growers and wineries. To be labeled with a specific DO, wines must be made from approved grape varieties harvested in the area and vinified locally.  Wineries must follow strict production laws regarding vineyard practices, yield per hectare, ageing, and final alcohol content. 

There are approximately 70 Denominaciones de Origen in Spain, the first one being Rioja, founded in 1926.  Some of the most well-known are Rias Baixas, Rueda, Toro Ribera del Duero, Bierzo, Jerez, La Mancha, and Jumilla, among others. Rioja and Priorat carry the distinction Denominación de Origen Calificada, a term that requires higher quality production considerations than the rest. 

Author: Maytte Rivera

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