Wines from Montilla-Moriles
Another Historical Wine Region of Spain
Many of you would be aware of the Andalucía wine zone in South Spain. Montilla-Moriles is a DO wine region in Andalucía that is centred the towns, Montilla and Moriles.
With the very long winemaking history, this region is believed to be the oldest wine region in the whole of Andalucía.
This DO region is thought to be the cousin of the world-famous Jerez-Xérès-Sherry DO.
Although Montilla-Moriles is lesser known by the public, both these regions are sharing a common tradition in the way that are producing similar wines following the same production methods.
History and Rise of Montilla-Moriles DO
The history of winemaking in Montilla-Moriles can be dated back to as early as the eighth century BC.
For most of the time in its history, the region has been producing the Sherry and Malaga wines as these were highly acclaimed in the international wine market and had higher market values than Montilla and Moriles.
This was the status of winemaking in Montilla-Moriles wine zone until the year 1945 when DO status was granted to the region.
This can be looked upon as a significant move towards the local wine economy of Montilla-Moriles as they were able to label and market wines with their own names.
However, I’d say this wine region is still being shadowed by its cousin Jerez-Xérès-Sherry DO.
Description of Montilla-Moriles Wine Zone
Geographically, this region is located at about 45 kilometres south of Cordoba and 100 kilometres north of Malaga’s Mediterranean coast.
Thus, this makes the northernmost wine region of the Andalucía wine zone. In total, this DO wine region is covering an area of 40 kilometres and is found to be a rough square-shaped.
The town of Montilla is forming the centre of this region. The landscape of this region is found to be dry and flat and is planting wheat, olive, and vine as its major plantations.
Although this region is about 160 kilometres away from its cousin, the soils are found to be more similar to that of Jerez.
The high albedo meaning the amount of sunlight reflected back to the vineyards along with the excellent moisture retention can be called as a major boom to this region.
The high albedo is mainly due to the Albariza, which is the white marl composed of fossils, clay, and calcium.
The climate of Montilla-Moriles also is not different from that of Jerez. The average daytime temperatures would be around 30 degrees during summers.
Wines of Montilla-Moriles DO
Like Jerez, Montilla-Moriles is also famous for its dessert wines. These wines are being classified using a system that is similar to the classification system used for Sherry wines.
However, these wines are not generally fortified. In Montilla-Moriles DO, the wines will be subjected to fermentation to get 14 to 16% alcohol.
Then, they will undergo maturation and classification as follows:
These are the most basic forms of Montilla-Moriles wines, which are consumed young. These can be made from any grape variety that is grown in this wine region.
This is equivalent to your Fino Sherry and is produced following the similar technique. These wines are found to be dry with light textures.
This means the Montilla-style that goes through a maturation period and an oxidation process. This oxidative maturation is continued until the wine gains an excellent complexity. These wines are sweet and are made using Pedro Ximénez grape variety.
These are stronger, richer, and darker styles of Amontillado.
These are the intermediate forms between the Amontillado and the Oloroso.
This is a straw wine and is thick, sweet, dark, and syrupy in nature.
This is a natural sweet made from extremely ripe Moscatel grapes.
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