Hitting the headlines in the wine world in the last fifty years or so have been the wines of the Granada region and southern Spain. The Andalusian countryside has become scattered with many small vineyards during the past few decades and cities such as Granada, Malaga, Jaen, Cordoba, Cadiz and Seville are leading the way for the production of boutique wineries that are making some quite splendid wines.
The main grape varieties are Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Grenache, Tempranillo, Viognier and Petit Verdot and one of the most popular just south of the region is Vijiriega and the red grape Rome that can only be found in Granada.
There are as many as 168 towns that make up the province of Granada and they are registered as Granada Denomination of Origin. But one particular area stands out above the rest and that is La Contraviesa which comprises of thirteen towns to the south of Alpujarra.
The climate in this area is generally governed by the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and the closeness of the Mediterranean Sea. But the single most important factor that influences the character of the wines of Granada is how high the vineyards are. The grapes grow at the highest altitudes of all the wines in Europe, the vineyard’s average height is just under four thousand feet.
Barranco Oscuro Winery
The landscape of La Contraviesa is quite unique as well as being high, there are a plethora of oak trees and many aromatic plants such as lavender and thyme which all paint a beautiful picture. Barranco Oscuro Winery has thirty acres of this stunning countryside.
Today this winery produces roughly twenty-five thousand bottles of wine, some of which have an amazing alcohol content of seventeen percent. But it is the personality of the wines that attract foreign wine markets, and nearly three quarters of production at Barranco Oscuro is exported.
La Alqueria de Morayma
Just fifteen minutes’ drive from Barranco Oscro you will find La Alqueria de Morayma, the vineyard provides an oasis of tranquility and also has its own hotel where guests can sample the excellent home produce while relaxing in the beautiful setting. There is also a wonderful restaurant that offers cuisine that is made from seasonal produce from around the surrounding locality. Regional Alpujarra specialties are the order of the day, rice with rabbit, Spanish black pudding, pork loin, Serrano ham are all on the menu. The vineyard produces around five thousand bottles of wine a year, and the local vintages drink perfectly with the restaurant fayre.
These two boutique vineyards are just a taste of the wine that is available in the Granada region, and the area around La Alqueria de Morayma is superb for sampling the great wines of southern Granada. Other notable wineries from the region are: Nestares Rincon Winery, Garcia de Verdevique Winery, Los Barrancos, Cento Tematico del Vino, and Senorio de Nevada.
The above is just some of the reasons for the La Contraviesa in Granada to be the ideal place in southern Spain to take time out and discover some of the best new wines that exists in Europe; filled with personality, love and care they are spectacular.