Two important mountain ranges are influential on the growing climate of North-Central Spain. The Pyrenees form the border between Spain and France, and provide some nice high altitude growing sites. The Cordillera Cantabria mountain range runs along the northern side of Spain, and provides protection to Rioja and the other nearby areas from the Atlantic Ocean. To the South of those mountains lies Navarra, Cariñena, Campa de Borja, Calatayud, as well as Rioja, which is so important, I will cover it in its own section. The other areas are exploding with popularity and growth in winemaking, and will soon become highly regarded as well.
To the North of the Cordillera Cantabria mountain range lies the Basque region, a unique area of Spain. In Basque country they speak their own language, which is nothing like Spanish. The most promising wine coming out of this area is called Txakoli, which is pronounced Chaw-koe-lee. Txakoli is produced in three DO's: Getariako Txakolina, Bizkaiko Txakolina, and Txakoli de Avila. The most popular style right now is the Getariako style, which is lightly effervescent, runs a little lower in alcohol (about 10%) and has a characteristic salty briny taste, with very bright citrus style acidity. The grapes are grown very close to the ocean, and are often observed covered in salt from the ocean breezes, which may explain the characteristic salty taste.