Thursday, 24 February 2011

Rondas growing wine industry.

Ronda is famous for its ancient bullring, the height defying bridge that spans the impressive gorge, el Tajo, its spectacular fortress like location and the beautiful scenery that surrounds it. However recently Ronda has also become famous for its growing wine industry. Until a couple of decades ago there wasnt really a wine industry to speak of, although the region has in the past been an important wine growing area; infact in Roman times the local currency even featured a bunch of grapes on one side of the coinage. Unfortunately the ancient vineyards were wiped out by Phylloxera in the 19th century and it dropped into obscurity until in 1982 a German, Friedrich Schatz decided to plant some vines, realising that high daytime temperatures combined with low night time temperatures were the ideal growing conditions for vine growing. His organic vineyard is now one of the best in the area and has won several awards. Since then he has been joined by many others; some local Spaniards but also Germans, Argentinians and Austrians.

The main varieties to be found are Shiraz/Syrah, Petit Verdot, Tempranillo and Cabernet-Sauvignon and also the local Romé, and after serious lobbying the wine growers have managed to achieve the areas wines to have their own “Designation of Origin Malaga – Serranía de Ronda”. If you are a wine lover but dont quite know where to start, most of the local wines can be tried by the glass at a small wine bar called Entre Vinos on Calle Pozo just round the corner from the Alameda Park. Owner Javier has more than 12 varieties to try by the glass and stocks an extensive range to be ordered by the bottle. They also serve delicious tapas all presented with style and at reasonable prices; they are closed all day Sunday and Monday lunch, but are otherwise open everyday lunchtimes and evenings. Just around the corner on Calle Molino is the amazing wine shop Placer ego run by Fernando Angulo that stocks all the local wines plus over a thousand more varieties from around Spain and the rest of the world. So if you are planning a trip to Ronda and like a good tipple you are in for a serious treat.

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