Andalucia’s Famous Wine Area Map

Andalucía

The ancient lands of southwestern Spain have been planted to vineyards for nearly 3,000 years. But this part of Iberia was long under the control of the Moors and Islam, and winemaking was discouraged if not outright forbidden here from 711 to 1492.

To most visitors, Andalucía appears as more moonscape than landscape; hot and arid, rugged and hard. But Andalucía’s mountains carry other possibilities. With abrupt shifts in elevation, fascinating dessert wines have been produced within areas in Montilla-Moriles and Málaga.

And Andalucía’s most famous wine area, Jerez (Sherry), receives more rainfall than most other parts of southern Spain. That rain is captured by the special limestone-rich soils of the area, called albariza, that bake in the summer sun into a hard crust, trapping cool moisture for the vines’ needs.

Sherry’s multiplicity is a bewildering obstacle for too many people. It’s actually simple: Sherry is fortified wine. It’s fortified after the fermentation, so unlike Port, all Sherry begins its life as a dry wine.

Condado de Huelva is an old DO in south-western Andalucia, close to the border with Portugal. In the southern section of the DO lies the Coto de Doñana, a natural wetland and ornithologists' paradise now classified as a natural park.

County of Huelva enjoys ideal conditions for growing grapes: mild in winter and spring and long, hot summers of evident Atlantic influence, with an average annual temperature in the region of 17 ° C and oscillating relative humidity between 60% and 80%.

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This classic DO, known for centuries for its sweet fortified wines made from Moscatel and Pedro Ximénez grapes, is holding its own remarkably well after decades of recession under the pressure of tourism.

Geographically, the DO forms a T-shape, with the vineyards running along the coast to the east of Málaga city, and back up towards the sierras. A smaller third subzone lies to the west of the city.

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Montilla-Moriles lies at the centre of a historical triangle that may be drawn between Granada, Seville and Córdoba city. It lies in Córdoba province. Today the vines share the space with wheat and olives to give the classical Mediterranean trilogy: bread, wine and oil.

Its wines are often wrongly though it of simply as another Sherry, although its history is as distinguished as that of its more famous Sherry neighbour. The main grape, Pedro Ximénez, makes it distinct.

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Jerez-Xérès-Sherry and Manzanilla-Sanlúcar de Barrameda, both situated in the province of Cadiz, are separate DOs that share the same vineyards and Regulatory Council (Consejo Regulador), established in 1933. They also share similar traditional methods of winemaking based on the Solera and Criaderas system, a method of dynamic ageing in butts (oak barrels) which allows young wines to take on the characteristics of older ones.

Jerez has exported wines since at least Roman times, and today its wines account for the greatest volume of any Spanish DO exports. They are sold in more than fifty countries. The enormous international commercial success of these wines is, to a large degree, due to the long export tradition of great wineries, the broad consumer range and the wine's exceptional quality, which has its source in the unique winemaking and ageing processes.

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