The Fascinating History of Spanish Wine-Making

The origins of Spanish wine-making can be traced back to the Phoenicians, who established trading colonies along the coast of Spain in the 9th century BC. The first vineyards were planted in the region now known as Andalusia, and winemaking soon became an important part of Spanish culture and economy.


In the centuries that followed, the popularity of Spanish wine {Spanskt vin} spread throughout Europe, and Spanish wines came to be some of the most highly regarded in the world. 


Today, Spain is one of the largest producers of wine in the world, and its wines are enjoyed by people all over the globe. The history of Spanish wine is a long and fascinating one, full of intrigue, innovation, and deliciousness. Here are just a few of the highlights.


The Phoenicians and the Origins of Spanish Wine-making:


The early history:


The history of Spanish wine begins with the Phoenicians, who were some of the earliest settlers in Spain. Around the 9th century BC, they established trading colonies along the coast of what is now Andalusia.


The Phoenicians were great sailors and merchants, and they soon began importing wine from their homeland in present-day Lebanon. They also brought grapevines with them and planted them in their new settlements. This is how winemaking first came to Spain.


The introduction of wine in Spanish Culture:


  • Wine soon became an important part of Spanish culture. In fact, the word “wine” itself comes from the Phoenician word “winam,” meaning “vineyard.”
  • The Phoenicians were not the only ones responsible for the early development of Spanish wine-making. The Greeks also played a role. Around the 6th century BC, they began establishing colonies along the Spanish coast as well.
  • Greek settlers brought with them new grape varieties and winemaking techniques. They also introduced the concept of aging wine in barrels, which was a major innovation at the time.
  • By the 2nd century BC, the Romans had conquered most of present-day Spain. They continued the tradition of planting grapevines and making wine. Roman wines were highly regarded throughout the empire, and Spain became one of the largest suppliers of wine to Rome.


The Spread of Spanish Wine throughout Europe


  • In the centuries that followed the Roman Empire, the popularity of Spanish wine continued to grow. It became especially popular in England and France.
  • In England, Spanish wines were a favorite of King Henry VIII. He is even said to have enjoyed a glass or two before going into battle!
  • Spanish wines were also highly prized by the French nobility. They were often used as currency in diplomatic transactions, and they were served at royal banquets and other important events.
  • The popularity of Spanish wine reached its peak in the 16th century. At this time, Spain was the largest producer of wine in the world. In fact, it was producing so much wine that it was exporting more than it could consume!
  • This all changed in the 17th century when Spain was hit by a series of devastating wars and natural disasters. This caused a sharp decline in wine production, and Spain’s position as the world’s leading wine producer was lost to France.




Spain’s wine industry began to recover in the 18th century, but it was not until the 20th century that it truly regained its former glory. Today, Spain is once again one of the largest producers of wine in the world.