Region where Classic converges with Modern
This is also the name of the province that is just south of the city of Valencia. Today, this is a DO wine region of Spain, which represents the wines that are being produced in the Alicante province.
With a long winemaking history, Alicante is found to be the region where classic meets modern.
In fact, this region is a fairly small wine region, but has lots to offer a wine lover.
Let’s learn about this wine region and its DO status here…
History of Winemaking in Alicante
Just like all the famous winemaking regions of Spain, the history of winemaking in Alicante can also be dated back to several centuries ago.
Some part of the history comes from Greek colonies while some other comes from the Romans.
By the fifteenth century, the wines of Alicante became the most sought wines of Europe, both locally and internationally.
Several wine historians attributed this reputation of Alicante wines to Fondillón, which is the signature wine of the region even today.
During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the wine producers of the region focused on producing bulk and table wines.
Thankfully, the arrival of modern winemaking equipment, as well as techniques has gifted a constructive change in the Alicante wine industry.
Today, several winemakers of Alicante are upgrading their equipment and have reinvented Fondillón and are working towards bringing this unusual wine back to the international wine market.
Geography, Climate, and Soil in Alicante
As such, the whole Alicante DO can be divided into two different sub-regions as follows:
This is the northern sub-region and is occupying a coastal point. This region is found to be experiencing a milder Mediterranean type of climate, which is influenced by the winds from the sea.
The summers in La Marina are found to be hotter, while the winters are milder.
These climatic conditions are perfect for the cultivation of Moscatel grape variety, which is found to be dominating the vineyards here.
The most famous of the Moscatel wines are labeled as ‘Moscatel de Alicante’. This region is more popular for its dessert and fortified wines.
This is the second sub-region lying inland and to the southwest of ‘La Marina’ and is found to be encompassing the city of Alicante.
Most of the vineyards of this sub-region are planted farther west in the foothills. The climate here is found to be continental with the hot summers.
The Monastrell is the predominant grape variety here. Apart from the red wines, this region is also producing rosé wine styles.
A Short Note on Fondillón
As mentioned earlier, the region’s traditional prize is “Fondillón”, which is a sweet wine that can be dated back to the 1600s.
This wine varietal is comparable to the ‘Pedro-Ximénez’ from Montilla-Moriles.
The Fondillón is produced from the best selected overripe Monastrell grape varieties.
These are naturally sweet and are not fortified. After harvest, these grapes are pressed and fermented with the skins for a short duration.
Then, they are allowed to age for a minimum of eight years in oak. Several of these wines are aged in soleras and the result will be the dark red coloured wine with high alcohol contents.
Today, this is one of the five wines in European Union to be recognized as “luxury” wines.
Grape Varieties in Alicante
Apart from Moscatel and Monastrell, many other varieties are being cultivated here.
The key varieties are:
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