Definition - What does Navarra mean?
The region of D.O. (Denominacion de Origen) Navarra is located in northern Spain. Compared to the region of Rioja and others, Navarra is lesser-known. The region of Navarra itself covers the southern half of the community of Navarre (Nafarroa in Basque). The vineyards are found at the foothills of the Pyrenees and heads down into lower altitudes to the River Ebro basin.
WineFrog explains Navarra
D.O. Navarra is divided by its terrain and specific micro-climates into 5 sub-regions; Ribera Baja, Baja Montana, Ribera Alta, Tierra Estella and Valdizarbe. The region is known for its long growing season of hot and dry summers and very cold winters. It is only the northern sub-regions, which have some cooling affects from the Atlantic and moderate heat while the grapes mature.
The main varieties of grapes grown here are; Tempranillo, Garnacha, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Mazuelo and Graciano. White varieties include; Chardonnay, Garnacha Blanca and Viura.
Wine making in this region dates back to Roman times. The diverse micro-climates and geography creates a region where many styles of wine can be made; the big red wines of Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are competing with many reds of similar style from Rioja. Red Garnacha is the region's primary grape for rosé wines of fruity and dry styles.