A TASTE OF RONDA

Long un­der the radar, this area in Malaga, Spain, is turn­ing out to be an ex­cit­ing ‘new’ wine re­gion with ex­cel­lent tip­ples to ex­plore

Wine & Dine - - CONTENTS - WORDS ED­WIN SOON

This area in Malaga, Spain, is turn­ing out to be an ex­cit­ing ‘new’ wine re­gion with ex­cel­lent tip­ples to ex­plore

Men­tion An­dalu­cia and wine cognoscenti will tell you it’s the re­gion in Spain that is hot, dry and suited for the pro­duc­tion of for­ti­fied wines. In­deed, the fine sher­ries of Spain come from this re­gion. But a group of wine pro­duc­ers have dis­cov­ered on the moun­tains of An­dalu­cia an ideal cli­mate for grow­ing grapes for the pro­duc­tion of non­for­ti­fied wine. Here, at an al­ti­tude of 600 to 1,000 me­tres, we are talk­ing of high­land mi­cro­cli­mates and an ideal ter­roir for fine wine. The di­ur­nal con­trast in tem­per­a­ture en­sures that the grapes main­tain acid­ity dur­ing ripen­ing. The soil is cal­care­ous—a much favoured soil for pro­duc­tion of pre­mium wine—with ex­cep­tional drainage. The sun­light is con­cen­trated and di­rect, which pro­motes ripen­ing.

In the re­gion of Malaga within An­dau­cia, the pic­turesque town of Ronda is its third most vis­ited city by tourists, not sim­ply for its stun­ning his­toric sites and cob­ble­stoned-streets, but also for its winer­ies that are slowly gain­ing in­ter­na­tional at­ten­tion. But though its Ser­ra­nia de Ronda wine route has only re­cently been added to the of­fi­cial wine routes of Spain, the wine grow­ing area of Ronda is not a ‘new’ re­gion. His­tory has it that wines have been made in this re­gion since Phoeni­cian and Gre­cian times. The area’s claim to fame was that in olden days, wines were pro­duced and stored in ware­houses for even­tual trans­port to Rome and the rest of the Ro­man Em­pire. How­ever it was only in the last decade that pro­duc­ers (some who have come from Aus­tria to set­tle in Spain) be­gan to pro­mote and brand the wines of Ronda ‘Vi­nos de Ronda’.

Here are sev­eral Ronda wines that prove that be­sides for­ti­fied wines, one can find fresh and del­i­cate pre­mium un­for­ti­fied wines in An­dalu­cia too.

LUNARES BLANCO 2014

Aro­matic yet not overtly in­tense, with de­light­ful aro­mas and flavours of peach, pear and pa­paya. A smooth, light wine that is crisp, round and with a lightly warm fin­ish.

F. SCHATZ CHARDON­NAY 2015

Fresh and fruity with trop­i­cal fruit (ba­nana, pineap­ple, ly­chee and mango) aro­mas, lightly sweet with a creamy and but­tery tex­ture, and a hint of vanilla in the mouth. This is a bio­dy­namic wine.

KIENINGER ROSARA 2015

An im­pres­sive pink wine made from Aus­tria’s Zweigelt grape. It oozes with aro­mas of fresh red fruit (straw­berry, red berry) and mixed flow­ers, and is rem­i­nis­cent of a Proven­cal rosé. This or­ganic wine has lots of body, light fruit flavours and a gen­er­ous mouth­feel.

FINCA LOS FRUTALES GARNACHA 2013

An el­e­gant wine with sweet ripe fruit, smooth re­fined char­ac­ter and woody over­tones pep­pered with spice. Lots of red­cur­rant in the mouth and suf­fi­cient but not over­bear­ing tan­nins. De­li­cious.

CHIN­CHILLA VINO MAE­STRO MOSCATEL DULCE 2016

Medium gold, very bright with an in­tense nose of trop­i­cal fruit and pre­served fruit. Fresh yet sweet with hints of spice and wood. This is the cre­ation of an An­dalu­cian wine­maker whose dream was to make dessert wine.

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