DO vs. VdIT: Spanish Wine 101

DO, DOQa, DOCa, VdIT.  If you’ve ever picked up a bottle of Spanish wine, you’ve probably noticed some of those letters gracing the label.  So what exactly do these things mean?  And does it really matter?


Spanish wine laws require that designations are specified for various wine-producing regions.  So who exactly is enforcing these DO regulations?  There is a governing body, the Consejo Regulador, that is responsible for classifying and regulating the standards for winemaking.  Regulations cover all aspects of the winemaking process, including, but not limited to the amount of time aged in the barrel and the types of grapes used.  DOCa/DOQa is the highest “grade” that can be assigned to a wine – Rioja and Priorat are the only two regions that currently hold this prestigious designation.

Albarino from Rias Baixas is an example of a DO wine.


Is the designation of wine important to you when it comes to purchasing or consuming?  Is there a wine producing region that you are most partial to?  Leave me a comment and let me know!

My next post will help you understand Crianza from Vino Joven…stay tuned.

One thought on “DO vs. VdIT: Spanish Wine 101

  1. Dana Fortini

    Thanks for the comment, Christian!Not only was 2001 an incredible year for Riojas, but that one wine pictured was like $40. Just let it breathe for an hour and it is as full-bodied as a $600 Super Tuscan. Is there a particular bodega or area of La Rioja that you’re most partial to? Have you tried any of the Riojas from ’04? Also seems to be another good year!Ooh, and as for Albariño – it is a great dry, slightly flinty white wine…and pairs well with percebes! 😀 I’m going to be living 15km from Rias Baixas this summer so I have lots of "field work" to do. 🙂 (Good quote btw too!)


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