Extremadura, one of the 17 autonomous regions in spain and, perhaps surprisingly, the country’s fourth most important wine region. Spain’s wild west is hardly ideal for growing grapes. Sheep are reputed to outnumber people in this semi-arid upland area between castilla-la mancha and portugal (see map under spain). Most of the wine is sold in bulk for distillation and ends up as brandy de Jerez. The Tierra de Barros (‘land of mud’) zone near the Portuguese border, which shares climate and soil features with neighbouring alentejo, witnessed a certain rebirth after 1990.