Winegrowers and the winegrowing enterprises have always been small in size, with the only purpose of self-sufficiency and, at the most, sharing with their neighbors. For this reason, until the establishment of the Cooperativa Comarca, the vineyards in this area decreased in their importance.
In the 1960s, the abandonment of the vines was put to a a halt. This meant the progressive leap to the Designation of Origin. Despite the fact that the soil and climate conditions are great, the vine’s cultivation never had the same importance like the Cariñena or Borja D. Os. In 1984, the Somontano Designation of Origin was approved. It is worth to point out that being a relatively Young D. O., the Somontano D. O. has earned an excellent wine reputation in a short time span.
The Somontano region is found in the strip of lands ranging between the base of the Pyrenean and the Iberian mountain ranges, as well as the high central buttes of the Ebro River’s depression. The D.O. Somontano is made up of 43 municipalities, among which the town of Barbastro is the epicenter of all of them, and where the headquarters of the Regulatory Council is located. Moristel, Tempranillo, Garnacha tinta, Parraleta, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Macabeo, Alcañón, Garnacha blanca, Chardonay and Gewürztraminer are the only grape varieties that are authorized to make wine within the Somontano D.O.
Focusing on the town of Barbastro, the climate is slightly warmer than in the rest of the Aragonese wine regions. This is an extremely important factor, since the ripening of the grapes in September is ahead of time from the others. The average annual temperature is 14.7 ºC. The fact that the vineyards are at the bottom of the valleys it allows them to be surrounded by vegetation and creates a benign microclimate around them.
The mountain ranges that occupy the northern part of this area are built on limestone, loams and conglomerates. On the hills that have been sculpted in this landscape, deep, permeable and loamy soils have, thus, developed. This trait is highly advisable for the cultivation of almond, olive, vines and cereals. The flat, permeable and deep soils have the most suitable conditions for the vines cultivation.