Since day one, I’ve wanted a map of the wine regions of Spain and Portugal. Seems like a simple request, and if I couldn’t have one of Iberia, at least you would think that there would be one of Spain and another of Portugal. You would think. You would also be wrong, sort of. Announcement
Interestingly, there are no good maps of the peninsula we call Iberia, or at least as it relates to wine. Wines of Spain, the bureaucratic agency in charge of promoting Spanish wine, does have an outdated map, but you can’t get a copy of it. I had a prominent tour guide friend of mine once ask to buy a few copies to give to her clients, all of which were on wine tours, and she was told it was not possible. Hence, I’m not sure why they made it. We had to steal a few copies from a regional government’s office, and while we use them occasionally, in truth, they are worthless.
That said, Portugal is no better, and I have yet to find a map that accurately sums up the many nuances in a very confusing set of regional wine laws. And considering that there is little consensus among differing governmental maps, it is clear that one concise and accurate map was desperately in need to be created.
Enter the DeLong wine company, creator of such treasures as the Wine Varietal Table. Having encountered way too many inaccurate regional wine maps around the world, Steve decided to fix the problem by making his own map. Smart guy! The best part for us is that he asked us to help him out. Now, we can’t claim much in the way of contributions to this map, but we did make sure he included some important landmarks and we worked with him to make some editorial decisions on how to handle certain place names and regional identities. I asked him a few questions about how this map came about:
Why did you choose to start with Iberia?
We started with Iberia for three main reasons: 1. It’s the most dynamic (and constantly changing!) area in the wine world – but you already knew that! 2. There wasn’t a good map available (for France there are a few) 3. It’s a great looking land mass.
Which regions are next on your list?
We’re working on France and Germany right now, which will be available early next year. Then on to Italy, and finally, the New World!
What makes this map different from other wine region maps?
The one very simple thing that distinguishes these wine maps from others is that the wine regions don’t stop at the border. In reality, the wine regions reflect the regional differences that underlie the country borders. Catalunya and the Basque Country, which both overlap France and Spain, are just two examples.
Hence, this is just the start of a much bigger plan to cover the planet with quality wine resources – something that is SORELY needed! We hope that this first map is a resource that we can not only learn from, but can also use when reading about Catavino’s adventures throughout Spain and Portugal.
And best of all, if you click here and buy the Iberian wine map through the Catavino website, a small portion of the sale will come back to us – something we would appreciate! Also, if you are in Spain and want to see this in Spanish, please let us know. We are considering translating it into Spanish and Portuguese if we find enough interest. Also, if you have a wine shop and would like either English or Spanish versions of this map, just send us a note at map(at)Catavino(dot)net, and we’ll tell you about additional opportunities to buy larger quantities.
We’re very excited about this and feel VERY privileged to have Iberia be the first map of the series, a testament to the importance of this rich and exciting wine region. We hope that if Iberian Wine interests you at all, you’ll pick one up and let us know what you think.