This is Aragón's largest vine-growing area and one of Spain's first to be demarcated, in 1933. The Romans founded the town of Carae (Cariñena) in 50 B.C and established winemaking on a commercial basis. During the Middle Ages, wine production flourished under the protection of the local monasteries and achieved great fame.
The town may have given its name to the black grape variety, Cariñena, but surprisingly it is not the region's dominant variety which is the Garnacha Tinta . Although traditionally this area has produced high alcohol, robust wines sold in bulk and used for adding strength to other wines, back in the 1990s there was a move towards quality. Bottling became more prevalent as a way to break into new markets, calling for more elegant, fruity and fresh wines.
The region is located in the centre of Zaragoza province, right in the heart of the Ebro valley, with a continental climate and fairly low rainfall. The soils are rather lacking in nutrients and mainly of reddish-brown limestone that retains water well.