Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Navarra, known in English as Navarre, autonomous region in north east spain which also lends its name to a denominated wine zone with 11,500 ha/27,500 acres of vineyard in 2012. The kingdom of Navarra once stretched from bordeaux to Barcelona but today this extensive denomination is overshadowed by the neighbouring do zone rioja, a small part of which extends into the province of Navarra (see map under spain). The wines share a common history.

Pilgrims en route to Santiago de Compostela fuelled the demand for wine in the Middle Ages. Later, in the mid 19th century, both Rioja and Navarra benefited greatly from their proximity to France after it was invaded by the phylloxera louse. Because northern Spain was affected considerably later than south west France, vineyards here were expanded and large quantities of Navarran wine were sold to producers in France until phylloxera arrived in Navarra itself in 1892. The region recovered fairly quickly but the area under vine in 1990 was less than a third of that a century before.