Andalusia: land of flamenco, tapas… e wines! Kissed by the sun and with a particular geographical position between high mountains and the sea, Andalusia is a very suitable territory for the cultivation of vines and in fact viticulture and wine production in Southern Spain are very ancient traditions.
The British and their massive export of sherry are credited with having internationally discovered the enological heritage of Andalusia. Worldwide today i Andalusian wines they are recognized as high quality wines with a complex production. A peculiarity of typically Andalusian wines is the aging in wooden barrels under a layer of yeast that does not allow oxygenation.
In addition to fine wines, there are also other “easier” wines, which are drunk in large quantities, alone or mixed with soft drinks and fruit. Complex or easy to drink, wine is an essential element in any Andalusian feast.
Osborne, Sandeman (yes, the one from Porto, which also produces sherry) and Tio Pepe are the most famous brands internationally, but there are a myriad of small and medium bodegas open to visitors.
In your travel program in Andalusia you must include at least one visit to a winery, obviously with tasting; if you are a wine lover you could study a food and wine itinerary ad hoc or take part in one of the many wine tours offered by local tour operators.
Are you ready to raise your glass? Let's find out together the most interesting Andalusian wines.
Lo sherry it is the wine that made Andalusian wine production famous all over the world. Call it English sherry or sherry in Spanish (sherry in the oldest version), everyone will know what you are talking about.
Unlike what many people believe, sherry is not a brandy or a liqueur: it is a fortified wine (or fortified wine) that is obtained with Palomino, Pedro Ximénez and Moscatel grapes through a very complex manufacturing process and maturation with a particular method called solera y criaderas.
Sherry is one of the most difficult wines to produce in the world: a true masterpiece, possible thanks to the particular natural conditions of the area and the skill of expert winemakers.
It is produced in a demarcated area known as the sherry triangle which includes the cities of Jerez de la Frontera, El Puerto de Santa Maria and Sanlucar de Barrameda. In each of these locations you can visit the characteristic bodegas and taste the wines produced.
There are several types of sherry:
- Palo Cortado
- Peter Jimenez
Not only aromatic and gustatory notes, but also alcohol content and color can vary considerably depending on the type of sherry. There are light-colored sherries and others that are darker, dry or sweet, from 15 ° to 18-20 °.
Let's see below the most popular sherries and other typical Andalusian wines.
Il chamomile is a particular type of fine sherry, elegant and refined, produced only in the locality of Sanlucar de Barrameda. It is a dry wine with a light color and an alcohol content of around 15 °, characterized by a savory hint that gives it a characteristic marine flavor.
Its peculiarities depend on the climatic conditions of the area and on the development of the flor, the layer (veil) of yeast that forms on the surface of the wine during the fermentation in cask.
The manzanilla must be drunk chilled; very fragile, it can be kept for no more than two days: if you open a bottle you will have to finish it quickly… but we are sure it will not be difficult!
Another very popular type of fine sherry is ... Fino. Also in this case it is a dry wine with a light color whose aromatic and gustatory notes depend on the development of the flor, but it is more robust and powerful than the Manzanilla. It is mainly produced in the city of Jerez.
Fine wine Montilla-Moriles is the king of the famous Feria de Cordoba.
Lo smelly sherry it is more alcoholic than fino (between 18 ° and 20 °), has a darker color and a more robust structure; toasted and dried fruit aromas prevail. It is a sweet or semi-sweet wine; there are also some dry versions but they are very rare.
Leaving the sherry production area, another area with a long wine tradition that we can find in Andalusia is that of Malaga, where excellent white and red wines are produced, both table and non.
The most famous wine from the Malaga area is the Cartojal, a sweet white wine of little value but much loved by the Spaniards. It is the wine par excellence of the wild Feria de Malaga.
A specialty of the province of Huelva is the PDO wine Huelva County Orange Wine. As the name implies, it is a white wine flavored with orange. The citrus peels are added to the barrel during fermentation and give the wine its characteristic flavor.
With a long historical tradition, this wine was celebrated by the poet Juan Ramon Jimenez.
Wine based beverages
In addition to the wines that we have described to you, during your holiday also try one (or more!) Of the wine-based drinks much loved by Andalusians. They make sommeliers turn up their noses, but are instead highly appreciated by Spaniards and tourists looking for something thirst-quenching and low in alcohol for a little relief from the scorching Andalusian temperatures.
The most common is the summer red, a drink similar to sangria but easier to prepare, based on red wine and gazosa to which fresh fruit and ice are added.
Another wine-based drink that you must try is the Rebujito, prepared with manzanilla wine, gazosa and ice. It is the most drunk drink in the popular festivals of the Andalusian coast, strictly served in liter jugs.