As we have been doing in the past years, SWL unveils the most popular stories of our website of 2019. As well as several in-depth pieces in some of our sections, a few winery and wine-friendly restaurant reviews also managed to draw the attention of our readers.
The glossary of wine terms in English and Spanish written by our English contributor Anna Harris-Noble in January was the most read story in 2019. A WSET educator and wine marketing specialist who lived in Spain for several years, Harris-Noble is very familiar with the most common mistakes made by Spaniards when they try to talk about wine in English. She also mentioned some wine-related words in Spanish that sound rather weird to English speakers.
Her humorous, practical take on the subject featured slightly different contents in our English and Spanish versions so it proved really useful for both Spanish and English speakers. Given its success, we might ask Anna to write a follow-up this year.
Other popular and practical pieces included the conclusions of Jonas Tofterup on the effects of travel on wine for his Master of Wine research paper -he compared air freight an road transport; and Yolanda Ortiz de Arri’s guide to WSET courses in Spain published last September. Isn’t it fantastic that so many wine lovers in Spain are looking to improve their wine knowledge?
Our second most-read piece in 2019 was a profile about Raúl Pérez. Published in July, it featured his new projects in Bierzo. Although a bit chaotic, Pérez is a down-to-earth guy with limitless generosity. Highly revered by the new generation of Spanish producers, he has been a major influence in winemaking in Spain during the 21st century, particularly in Bierzo, the region where he comes from, and Galicia.
Another person who drew the attention of our readers was Primitivo Collantes. A unique grape grower and producer based in Chiclana (Cádiz), he makes singular whites and fortified wines from his own vineyards. As regulations stand right now, he cannot label his wines as Sherry because they originate from an area outside the so called “ageing areas”. Collantes is one of Andalusia’s terroir-driven producers who have spearheaded a small revolution in the region.
Over the past three years, SWL has published several pieces explaining the new classifications which have been approved or are underway in several wine regions across Spain. Priorat hosted a two-day tasting in May to present its new classification to an audience of international and local journalists, sommeliers and wine experts. We wrote a comprehensive piece explaining the philosophy behind it and how it works.
In previous years, the most searched-for producers in our Wineries section were young winemakers with international visibility. But in 2019, historic producer Marqués de Riscal tops the list. A major tourist destination in Rioja since the creation of the City of Wine, Marqués de Riscal includes the ancient 19th century cellars, a luxury hotel designed by Frank Gehry, two restaurants and a wine therapy spa. Our third most viewed producer is Muga, another classic Rioja house from Haro’s Railway Station district.
Some favourite producers who featured high in our list in previous years come in second and fourth place. First, Envínate, the inspiring entente of four friends and winemakers producing wines in the Canary islands, Ribeira Sacra and Almansa; and Comando G, the most acclaimed Garnacha producers from Gredos. Incidentally, neither of them have a website.