Asturias is not a region you would normally associate with wine. After all, it is better known for its prolific production of high quality cider. However, the area does produce wines with Denominaciónes de Origen status and consumption per head remains one of the highest in Spain.
Decline and revival
When coal miners were active in the region during the last century, their love of robust wines from southern Spain meant local production dwindled and wines were brought in from elsewhere. Many vineyards disappeared and those that remained were forced to adapt their wines to suit the demanding tastes of the workers.
Fortunately, production has returned to the areas and the number of vines is increasing again. New winemakers have moved in and the original characteristics of the region’s wines are being revived. This forgotten corner of the Spanish wine industry has a landscape and climate suited to viticulture, and the unique grape varieties that still exist such as Albarín Blanco and Negro, Verdejo Negro and Carrasquín are of very high quality.
Denominación de Origen Protegida
The area of Cangas produced wines classified as Vino de Calidad until 2008 when it was upgraded to Denominación de Origen Protegida status. This geographical indication is situated in the southwest of the region on the border with Leon.
The job of convincing the rest of Spain, and the world, that Asturias can produce wines to be taken seriously is not easy, but some intrepid wine buffs are already starting to take notice. Several bodegas that have joined forces to pioneer the new wave of Asturian wine. If they can maintain the momentum we predict a cult following for this exciting region very soon.
(Photo: Bodega Monasterio de Corias via Twitter)