Wines from Montilla-Moriles
Cousins of Sherry Wines
The Montilla-Moriles is a DO wine zone located in the southern Spain. This, which is centred on the towns of Montilla and Moriles in the province of Córdoba (Andalusia, Spain), is the northernmost wine region of Andalusia.
The wines from this wine zone are often referred to as the cousins of the world famous sherry wines and they concede literally nothing to those of their neighbours in Andalusia.
With its borders as the River Genil (east), the River Guadajoz (west), the River Guadalquivir (north) and the Subbetic Mountain Ranges (south), Montilla-Moriles DO is located at about 45 kilometres south of Cordoba.
Let’s have a detailed look at this important Spanish wine region here…
History of Winemaking in Montilla-Moriles
We could observe that the Montilla-Moriles DO has been long associated with the winemaking with the history of winemaking dating back to the eighth century BC.
Thus, it is believed that the Montilla-Moriles is the oldest of all the wine regions in Andalusia. It’s to be noted that for a long time, the wines produced here were being used to make Sherry and Malaga.
This is because these names were very popular than wine during those days.
This was the status of winemaking in Montilla-Moriles until the year 1945 when it was awarded the DO status of its own.
After this, the region has started marketing their wines with DO labels and it’s to be mentioned, this was the most significant step forward for the region’s local wine economy.
Now, the wines have become a symbol of local pride, although these are still being shadowed by the over-prestigious wines from Jerez.
Location and Geography of Montilla-Moriles DO
When the region is topographically seen, we can understand that the landscape is pretty much dry and flat.
In total, this DO region is found to be covering a surface area of about 40 kilometres (width) with Montilla being the center.
This DO region also includes the other municipalities like:
- Doña Mencía
- Montalbán de Córdoba
- Nueva Carteya
- Puente Genil
In addition, it covers part of some other municipalities like:
- Aguilar de la Frontera
- Castro del Río
- La Rambla
Although this wine zone is located 160 kilometres’ northeast of Jerez, the soils are found to be remarkably similar.
As such, this region contains the Albariza type of soil throughout and is valued just like the albedo in Jerez.
The outstanding moisture retention capacity of this soil is considered as a blessing to the region when it comes to viticulture. The constituents of Albariza are clay, calcium, and marine fossils.
Next, the climate is also not different from that of Jerez. As such, this region is receiving 2800 to 3000 hours of sunshine every year with the median summer daytime temperatures of about 30 degrees Celsius. Thus, the region is found to be hotter than several other parts of Spain.
Vineyards and Wines of Montilla-Moriles DO
In the Montilla-Moriles DO region, the vineyards are found to be planted at the heights of 125 to 600 meters above the sea level.
When it comes to wine varietals, the region is famous for the rich dessert wine varietals.
The wines that are being produced will be fermented to get between 14% and 16% alcohol and are classified as follows:
- Joven Afrutado
- Palo Cortado
The primary grape variety used for making dessert wines is found to be Pedro Ximenez, which would achieve a remarkable ripeness in the hot climatic conditions.
Apart from this, the grape varieties that are found in the region are as follows:
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