Spanish Wine by Region Series: Andalusian Wines
On our food tours, we love to share our passion for Spanish cuisine with our guests, immersing them in Spanish culture and gastronomy. Just as important as the food is the wine that is paired with every course. Every region of Spain produces its own wine, and has done so for generations. Wine is an important part of Spanish life and culture, something to be shared at the table between friends and loved ones. In this series, we will explore Spanish wine by region, starting with Andalusian wines. Let’s explore the different DOs of southern Spain and the several types of Andalusian wines found in each!
DO Condado de Huelva
Huelva’s wine region is in the southeast of the province, near the beautiful Parque Doñana. The conditions are perfect for growing Zalema, a white grape that turns into Condado Viejo wine. You’ll pick up earthy, nutty notes which perfectly pair with jamón ibérico, another specialty of the region. Like many whites, wines from this region are best when given time to chill before serving. Since Huelva is known for its seafood delicacies too, the local wines are a great pairing for many tasty tapas and dishes. Additionally, DO Condado de Huelva is the only producer of sparkling wine in Andalusia! Try a glass (or bottle) of Raigal for a delicious taste of what Huelva has to offer wine lovers.
The DO Montilla-Moriles is in the south of Córdoba and has a good climate for both red and white grapes. The wine from this region is often compared to Sherry from nearby Jerez, however, it has its own characteristics that make make it unique. Most distinctly, these wines are not as dry and are a bit sweeter than those from farther south. White grapes from Montilla-Moriles include Pedro Ximénez, Moscatel, and Montilla, to name a few. Red grape varieties are a bit more famous outside of Spain, including Tempranillo, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Córdoba’s hot, dry weather is ideal for grapes, therefore resulting in a wide variety of amazing wines.
Some of the most famous Andalusian wines are those from DO Jeréz-Xérès-Sherry, Sherry wines. There’s a Sherry for all tastes, since there are dry, blended, and sweet varieties. Some of the more notable wines from this DO include Manzanilla, Amontillado, Moscatel, and Pedro Ximénez. Traditionally, Sherry is had before the meal to open up the digestion and prepare the palate. Like champagne from France, authentic Sherry only comes from the vineyards in the Sherry Triangle in the Cádiz province. The Trangle is the area where wine is grown between the cities of Jerez de la Frontera, Sanlúcar de Barrameda, and El Puerto de Santa María. Some of the best and most famous Andalusian wines originate in this unique geographical spot.
DO Manzanilla de Sanlúcar de Barrameda
Also in the Cádiz province is the DO Manzanilla de Sanlúcar de Barrameda where some of the best Manzanilla wine is made. While Manzanilla can also come from DO Jerez-Xérès-Sherry, the wine from this region has its own distinct characteristics, and therefore, its own DO. It gets its name from the Spanish word for “chamomile,” which it has notes of, and is very dry. Manzanilla from Sanlúcar is pale in color, has saltier notes, and a more delicate taste than that from Jerez. Bone-dry Manzanilla is especially popular in Andalusia during celebrations like the Feria de Abril in Seville, or other local festivals.
Moving farther east in the DO Málaga, you will mostly find sweet, white wines. These Andalusian wines are the product of Pedro Ximénez and Moscatel grapes, even though sometimes the wines may be darker in color than the average white. Sweet and semi-sweet wines are abundant, many of which are dessert wines for after the meal. Málaga province has a long history of wine-making, dating all the way back to the Roman times!
DO Sierras de Málaga (Ronda Wines)
There is another wine region in Málaga province, in the mountains near Ronda. The DO Sierras de Málaga boasts a wide variety of Andalusian wines coming out of the region. The high altitude of the mountains enables different varieties of grapes to grow, resulting in whites, reds, and rosés. Reds coming out of Sierras de Málaga include: Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo, Malbec, and Petit Verdot. Some whites are Chardonnay, Macabeo, Moscatel, and Sauvignon Blanc. All of these wines pair great with the local cuisine; reds go great with ham and meat from the mountains, and white with the seafood from Málaga’s coast.
If you love wine, come join Food Lover Tour on one of our wine tours! Urban Wine Tasting will take you through the heart of Barcelona to taste the best wine and tapas around. Or, you can join us for an all-day excursion in the Penedès wine country outside of the city. Either way, you’re guaranteed great wine, amazing food, and fun company!