Glass of one of the best sweet wines of Spain and red grapes

This post contains affiliate or sponsored links. We might be paid for posting them or if you click on them or buy through them. 
If the affiliate link would increase your costs, we wouldn’t use it. Your trust is more important than any commission. More about our links policy here.

Glass with one of the best Spanish dessert wines and red grapes

A guide to sweet Spanish wines


There’s nothing better than a glass of sweet wine to enjoy a sunset or to go with your favorite chocolate, cake or cheese. Spain is a land with a broad offer of dessert wines. They are made from a variety of grapes ranging from Pedro Ximenez to Muscat and other local ones. And the level of sweetness can be achieved by either harvesting late in the fall so sun-drying occurs naturally on the vine, or sun-drying after the harvest, under the vine shade or laid over sand. High levels of sugar can also be obtained by fortifying the wine – adding wine alcohol, or going through a solera blend system where younger wines are added to barrels with aged wines, following a progression that lasts decades.

Bottle of Sweet Wine (Spain)

Everyone is familiar with Spanish sherry wine, produced mostly in Andalusia. But there's other Spanish dessert wines that are worth knowing too. This post is divided in two main sections: the one for Sherry and Andalusian sweet wines, where the huge offer led me to organize them by price range. And a second section dedicated to other wine regions of Spain, where they are organized by area to stimulate your curiosity. In this section we'll discuss wines from the Mediterranean Coast, the North of Spain and other less famous wine regions that will definitely surprise you.

Sweet Spanish Sherry Wine


Andalusia - Sherry for beginners

I’ve you’ve never had Spanish sherry before, you don’t need to spend a lot of money to start the right way. You need to look for the most traditional grape type, Pedro Ximenez, and make sure your sweet wine has been aged in solera system (where younger wines are blended with more mature wines, in casks ranged according to age). Combine a very attractive price with high marks from the best world wine guides and you have Gonzalez Byass Nectar Pedro Ximenez, aged 9 years in solera. The harvest grapes are left to sun dry in order to concentrate the levels of sugar, then a fortifying liquor is added before entering the solera process.

Origin Denomination: D.O. Jerez-Xérès-Sherry
Grape type: Pedro Ximenez
Price range: Under €10. Buy it online >>


Andalusia - Affordable sherry

If you are already familiar with sherry and are looking for something more powerful, my recommendation is the Ximenez-Spinola winery. They have two beautiful sweet Spanish sherries, one stronger than the other. Their Old Harvest is a combination of 2 wines, a dominant solera of 1964, and a touch of a 1918 solera. Instead, the Delicado increases the sugar concentration by sun drying the harvested grapes on the ground under the vines shade.

Origin Denomination: D.O. Jerez-Xérès-Sherry
Grape type: Pedro Ximenez
Price range: Under €20.


Andalusia - Mid-range sherry

If you are ready to jump to the next level in the sherry world, you need to get familiar with one of the classic wineries of Spain, Fernando de Castilla, founded in 1927. Their Antique PX has received high marks from the Parker and Peñin guides. It is a fortified wine that goes through the house soleras for not less than 30 years. A gem that you need to try.

Origin Denomination: D.O. Jerez-Xérès-Sherry
Grape type: Pedro Ximenez
Price range: Around €30. Buy it online >>


Andalusia - Premium sherry

If price is never an issue when you are looking for high quality, give the premium sherry of the famous Bodegas Osborne a try. Their Osborne Venerable is sun-dried and dehydrated, and the fermentation is stopped with the addition of alcohol before entering their very old soleras from 1902. The aging lasts 30 years, receiving the official VORS certification (Vinum Optimum Rare Signatum, that is, very old rare wine).

Origin Denomination: D.O. Jerez-Xérès-Sherry
Grape type: Pedro Ximenez
Price range: Under €60. Buy it online >>


Andalusia - High end sherry

We couldn't go without mentioning the jewel of the crown of Spanish sweet wine: Valedespino Moscatel Viejisimo Toneles by Bodegas Valdespino, a family-owned winery already documented as wine-makers since the 1200's. The best Spain dessert wine is made with the soleras and criaderas system, with a starting base believed to be 75 years old or more. The complexity of its flavors and notes has been awarded 100 points by the Parker guide.

Origin Denomination: D.O. Jerez-Xérès-Sherry
Grape type: Muscat
Price range: €125 to €250 depending on bottle size. Buy it online >>

South of Spain Sweet Wine


Andalusia - Spanish sweet wine for beginners

There's no better way to get started with dessert wines from Spain than choosing a trusted brand. Alvear Pedro Ximenez 1927 has received high marks by the Parker and Peñin wine guides. Something to be expected from the second oldest winery in Spain! This sweet wine is aged 5 years in solera barrels. Plus if you like it, you can up your game and progress to their other more complex dessert wine, Sacristia.

Origin Denomination: D.O. Montilla-Moriles
Grape type: Pedro Ximenez
Price range: Under €15. Buy it online >>


Andalusia - Mid-range sweet Spanish wine

Wine connoisseurs need to try the Viñas Viejas nº3, by Jorge Ordoñez. Only 1500 bottles of this dessert wine make it a limited edition not to miss. The grapes come from very old vines (80yo and more), that are harvested and then naturally dried for 2 months. They are pressed and the must ferments in oak barrels for 20 months until it reaches its beautiful aroma and rich flavors.

Origin Denomination: D.O. Málaga-Sierras de Málaga
Grape type: Muscat of Alexandria
Price range: Under €40. Buy it online >>


Andalusia - Premium dessert wine from Spain

Two prestigious enologists from Jerez recovered the old Bodega de la Riva to turn it into their playground for experimentation and recovery of old solera barrels. Their production is very limited, and the bottles availability doesn't last much... Their La Riva Miraflores Alta Pedro Ximenez is premium sweet wine that comes from sustainable farming and it ages in their recovered solera barrels.

Origin Denomination: Vino de España
Grape type: Pedro Ximenez
Price range: Around €60. Buy it online >>


Andalusia - High end sweet wine of Spain

The Toro Albala family started making wines in 1844, and one hundred years later they decided to keep wines aging as a legacy for the next generations. Late harvested sun-dried grapes give a must of high sugar percentages, that ferments for decades in the winery oak barrels. Parker gave their Don PX Convento Seleccion 100/100 points for its 1946 vintage, and Suckling gave it 98/100 points for their 1931 vintage. Unmissable for any serious wine lover.

Origin Denomination: D.O. Montilla-Moriles
Grape typePedro Ximenez
Price range: Around €200. Buy it online >>

Mediterranean Spanish Sweet Wines


Catalonia - Penedes

Penedes is probably the most famous wine country near Barcelona, Spain. Famous for its cava sparkling wines, you'll also find there lovely dessert wines. Here we'll go for the Gramona winery, founded in 1881. They produce two lovely sweet wines, a red and a white one. For both the grapes are left over-ripening and dehydrating on the vine until almost raisin point. Their Spanish sweet white wine ferments in oak barrels, the sweet red Spanish wine ages 7 months in them.

Origin Denomination: D.O Penedes
Grape type: 100% Pinot Noir for the red sweet wine, 34% Sauvignon Blanc, 33% Chardonnay, 33% Moscatel de Frontignan (Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains) for the white dessert wine.
Price range:


Catalonia - Priorat

Priorat is an area of slate hills with old vineyards and intense mineral wines and a lot of personality. For this area we have chosen Nus by Mas d'En Gil, an expressive biodynamic Spanish sweet wine that results from blending 5 different wines previously aged for 18 months in French oak barrels. The sweetness of this wine provides from the low temperature fermentation.

Origin Denomination: D.O.P. Priorat
Grape type: 80% Red Grenache, 10% Syrah, 10% Viognier
Price range: Under €25. Buy it online >>


Catalonia - Montsant

Montsant is the area around Priorat, of lesser elevation, a slightly higher humidity and less mineral soil. A top producer there is Celler de Capçanes, a pioneer of kosher wine production in Spain. Their Pansal del Calas sweet wine doesn't belong to their Kosher line, though. For it they use grapes from old vines collected during a late mid-October harvest for extra sweetness. The resulting sweet red wine is aged 16 months in French oak barrels, then 3 months in tanks.

Origin Denomination: Montsant
Grape type: 70% Cariñena (Carignan), 30% Red Grenache
Price range: Under €20. Buy it online >>


Catalonia - Costers del Segre

Not far from Montsant runs the Segre river, flowing from the Pyrenees down the Lleida farmlands until it joins the Ebro river. For this area our choice is Ekam Essencia by Castell d'Encus, a limited production of only 3000 bottles. The grapes used for this sweet wine are infected by the Botrytis fungus that dries the fruit thus increasing its sugar percentages. The grapes are harvested by hand, and the must ages 36 months in bottle.

Origin Denomination: D.O. Costers del Segre
Grape type: Riesling
Price range: Around €40. Buy it online >>


Catalonia - Emporda

Emporda is the Tuscany of Spain. Green planes of farmlands, pine tree woods and medieval villages by the Mediterranean coast. The wines there are young and fresh but nevertheless elegant. Our recommendation is Espel Moscatell, produced by a family-own winery now run by its third generation of wine makers.The vinces, touched by the sun and the sea breeze produce a reduced crop of high sugar concentration, resulting in a lovely dessert wine.

Origin Denomination: D.O. Emporda
Grape type: Muscat of Alexandria
Price range: Under €10. Buy it online >>



Valencia is a fertile and sunny land along the Spanish Mediterranean coast. Greeks and Romans started growing vines there millennia ago, and the tradition has persisted. Our choice for this area is a fortified wine, El Sequé Dulce by the Artadi wineries. The grapes are grown following organic and sustainable principles, harvesting and selecting the grapes by hand. The fortifying spirit is added after a 3 days fermentation, then the wine is aged 12 months in oak barrels.

Origin Denomination: D.O. Alicante
Grape type: Monastrell (mourvedre)
Price range: Under €25. Buy it online >>

North of Spain Dessert Wine



Navarra, a small region East of the Basque Country and North of Rioja, receives the influences of three different climates: Mediterranean, Continental and Atlantic. Our choice for Navarra (Spain) dessert wines is Chivite Coleccion Vendemia Tardia, a sweet wine made of grapes from one single vineyard planted over 50 years ago. The grapes are only harvested October to December, during the late fall - hence the name Vendimia Tardia meaning Late Harvest.

This is done to stimulate the natural sweetness of the grapes, that are then selected by hand one by one and and fermented and aged on oak barrels. The result is one of the best sweet wines of Spain.

Origin Denomination: D.O. Navarra
Grape type: Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains
Price range: Around €25. Buy it online >>

Lesser known dessert wines from Spain


Canary Islands

The island of Lanzarote is an island of volcanic origins, where vines are traditionally grown inside conic holes dug  in the volcanic sand, to protect them from the wind and keeps the humidity levels steady. Our choice for Canary Island dessert wines is Vulcano Dulce from Bodegas Vulcano, made of Moscatel de Alejandría grapes and obtaining its sweetness from a lengthy maturation in the vine before being harvested.

Origin Denomination: D.O. Lanzarote
Grape type: Muscat of Alexandria
Price range: Less than €45. Buy it online >>


Castilla y Leon

The center of Spain, Castilla, is known for their verdejo grapes, an aromatic local variety. Our choice for Castilla y Leon sweet wines is Ossian Verdling Dulce, a semi-sweet by the winery Pago de Carraovejas. The grapes are harvested at their optimal ripening point, then the fermentation of the must is stopped by cooling. This combination preserves the liquid's natural acidity and balanced sweetness, that will remind you of the German Rieslings.

Origin Denomination: V.T. Castilla y Leon
Grape type: Verdejo
Price range: Under €15. Buy it online >>

What are your favorite sweet Spanish wines?


Author Marta Laurent Veciana


Marta is the founder of ForeverBarcelona. She is a passionate tour guide that loves Barcelona and loves writing too. She is the main author of our Blog, and is committed to sharing her knowledge about Barcelona and her best tips with our readers.

Need more inspiration?

Our 100% FREE Barcelona Collection will give you everything you need to organize the trip of your lifetime to Barcelona.


Montadito tapa
Scroll to Top