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White revolution at the forefront of Heart of Spain 2017

Published:  13 January, 2017

Winemakers from Spain will continue to further the white revolution and promote varieties from new and unexpected corners of the country when the Heart of Spain 2017 tasting comes to London.

Spain's fresh and enticing whites have helped turn the 'big, bold and red' image of this country on its head and this theme will continue into 2017 when Wines from Spain's annual trade tasting comes to Tobacco Docks on March 9.

At the event, a themed self-pour tasting section will show how Spanish whites are changing perceptions, from Galicia to The Levant, via Rioja and almost every corner of Spain.

Meanwhile, Around Spain in 80 Wines will offer a whistle-stop tour of Spain's wine regions exploring the diversity of styles and varieties which define Spanish wines today.

Visitors will also be able to taste their way around Spain's 69 DOs and 41 IGPs, via the 1200 wines from over 300 Spanish wineries which will present their portfolios on the day.

As time goes on, a wider diversity of wines are coming to the UK market, especially in terms of whites and lighter, fresh reds from newer DOs.

Harpers editor Andrew Catchpole recently shared this analysis on the development of Spain's whites.

"The [white] revolution arguably began with Rías Baixas and Albariño. This floral, citrus and peach-scented style began to trickle into the UK a decade or two ago, popping up on lists in the better gastro-pubs, restaurants and bars, where it fast became a hit with 'those in the know'.

"At a similar time Rueda, another fresh thirst-slaker of a Spanish white, began to regularly appear on UK shelves. Often featuring a splash of Sauvignon Blanc blended in with the native Verdejo, these wines nonetheless offered a subtler alternative to New Zealand's ever popular mainstay and spokeof a crisper side to Iberia.

"Between them, Rías Baixas and Rueda put a new wave of Spanish whites on the map, heralding a host of new styles that continue to emerge today, such as the bracing zesty Txakoli from the Basque country that has recently carved out a niche place on the happening London restaurant scene.

"If Albariño led the charge for the quality of Galician whites, it also opened the door for other rising regional stars, including the wonderful Godello. In its strongholds of Valdeorras, Ribeira Sacra and Bierzo, this variety revealed that it could deliver the complexity of white Burgundy, complete with an accompanying streak of minerally vibrancy," he said.

Masterclasses will run throughout the day and the full programme will be published at the end of January.

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