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
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.