Measured at 550,990km2, Spain is the largest country in southern Europe, the second largest in the EU and the fourth largest on the European continent. That’s what The Times Atlas of the World tells me anyway.
But a true understanding of the sheer scale of the country only really comes during one of those longer-than-expected car journeys that travellers through Spain know only too well – those moments when you pull back from the intense close-up of your GPS and realise that a day of driving has translated into just a few short inches on your old-fashioned paper map.
Sitting over a coffee in an oasis of aircon in some dusty autopista services, hours of driving still to come before you reach your destination, you can at least picture what life is like for some of Spain’s leading winemakers.
So many are ‘driving winemakers’: men and women for whom a car is every bit as indispensable a piece of winemaking kit as a press or a barrel.