Vineyards to Visit on your Costa del Sol Holiday
Discover the wines of Málaga and Ronda
When we think of Spanish wines, it’s usually the world-renowned reds of Rioja or Champagne-style sparkling Cava that spring to mind. But Spain has a rich tradition of wine making and what you may not realise is just how prolific Spanish vineyards are: in fact the country rivals France and Italy as one of the world’s largest wine producers!
Each corner of the country has a vibrant wine making industry, which is great news if you’re planning a visit to CLC World’s resorts in Spain and would like to learn more about the local tipple. Along with the famed red wine-producing regions of the north, such as Rioja and Castilla y León, Andalucía is one of Spain’s most important wine regions and the birthplace of the fortified wine Sherry. While Jerez – where Sherry is made – may be a little too far from the resorts of the Costa del Sol to explore in a day, there are some very exciting discoveries to be had by staying a little closer to home.
Meet the Sweet Wine of Málaga
Málaga may be most famous for its sandy beaches and as a gateway to the Costa del Sol, but wine has been made here since the Greeks first introduced vines around 600 B.C. The grapes grown here in the DO Málaga appellation are similar to what you’ll find in Sherry and include varieties such as Moscatel and Pedro Ximénez. Traditionally, in the hills above the city, grapes were dried on grass mats in the sun to concentrate the sugars. Today Málaga’s winemakers use a variety of methods to enhance the sweetness, with the same result: a wine that is “one of the most underrated classic dessert wines in the world,” according to wine writer Tom Stevenson.
Vineyards to Visit in the DO Málaga:
- Bodegas Quitapenas is a name you may recognise as one of Torremolinos’ most famous wine and tapas bars – but they have actually been making wine here for five generations, making it one of Málaga’s most established bodegas (wine cellars). As you visit the cellar in the heart of the town, you’ll learn how sweet wine is made – and then have a chance to sample how it tastes!
- Bodegas Bentomiz near Nerja, will reward you for making the effort to visit. Vineyard and winery tours run on Wednesday through to Sunday and include a guided tasting of four wines. The restaurant here is also highly recommended.
Along the Ronda Wine Route
Set inland from the coast and CLC World’s resorts on the Costa del Sol, majestic Ronda is a highly-recommended day trip. Not only is the dramatic setting – high above the El Tajo gorge – captivating, but the relatively new wine region known as the Serranía de Ronda (a subzone of the DO Sierras de Málaga appellation) is producing some very exciting dry wines. The grapes grown here include many international varieties that may sound familiar. These include Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir.
Vineyards to Visit in the Serranía de Ronda
- Cortijo Los Aguilares is a family-run vineyard set 900 metres above sea level. These award-winning wines are made on a beautiful estate that is also home to olive groves and free-range pigs. A visit to this critically acclaimed producer is highly recommended and includes a guided wine tasting.
- Bodega Doña Felisa makes white, rosé, red and sweet wines in a spectacular setting. During a 30minute tasting, you’ll be introduced to three of its wines, accompanied by delicious home-made tapas.
Where to Stay
CLC World’s resorts on the Costa del Sol are a pleasure-seeker’s dream come true. With a CLC World free accommodation holiday package, you’ll work up a thirst at the beach or while you enjoy the array of onresort activities, and you’ll feast on paella and tapas with the sand between your toes. What’s more, the bodegas of Málaga are a short trip up the coast, while the elevated vineyards of Ronda are less than an hour and a half away. Let’s raise a glass to that!