Navarre is an important Spanish vine-growing region and is located directly to the northeast of the Rioja region. Like its famous neighbouring region, Navarre benefited from the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela, as the walkers had to be supplied with provisions and wine.
Until the phylloxera disaster, about 40,000 hectares were under vine at that time. Since phylloxera reached Navarre much later than Bordeaux, many growers from the Gironde - another common feature with Rioja - found their way here to produce wine. Along the way, much Bordeaux know-how flowed into the region.
Today, the vineyard area is about 18,000 hectares, mainly planted with the Grenache grape variety. However, for the production of red wines there are also the Spanish varieties Tempranillo, Graciano and Mazuelo as well as international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
The white wines are mostly made of Garnacha Blanca, Malvasia, Macabeo and, as a speciality, Muscat à Petits Grains. There is also Chardonnay on a small scale.
Navarre is divided into five sub-areas due to climatic conditions. In the north the vineyards are located in the foothills of the Pyrenees at a cool 600 to 700 meters. Towards the south, the region slopes down so that the southernmost vineyards are at a warmer 250 meters above sea level and still enjoy Mediterranean influences in places. Climate and soil are ideal for PItzen viticulture and the cellar technology is largely up to date, so that in Navarre today a variety of good to first-class wines are produced.