Wind and rain cannot stop bodegas’ onward march
THE year 2007 was a good vintage for two local wine producers in Granada.
Despite the heavy storms in May that battered La Alpujarra, laying waste to hundreds of hectares of vines, two of that region’s signature bodegas had a bumper end to the year.
First up, the Ugíjar-based bodega Dominio Buenavista walked away with top honours for two of its wines in the International Wine Contest of Andalucía in September.
Knocking wines from more well-known regional and international competitors into a cocked hat, the producer’s Veleta Tempranillo 2006 and Cabernet Sauvignon from the same year both garnered top honours – the Gold Medal in their respective grape categories.
The bodega’s Veleta 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon has also had US wine critic David Rosengarten in raptures.
In his influential magazine the Rosengarten Report, he called this wine, which uses grapes from the Napa Valley in California, “a real bargain.”
There was even more praise for its stable mate – the Veleta Vijiriega. Using 90 per cent of the grape native to La Alpujarra along with 10 per cent Chardonnay, this is one of the 200 best wines of Spain according to the country’s All Wines de Sumilleres magazine.
And indeed at four euros a bottle, it beats most wines from more famous wine regions hands down.
Ten kilometres to the south as the crow flies is the village of Murtas, and nestling in the surrounding hills at 1,350 metres above sea level is the bodega of Cuatro Vientos.
Found on supermarket shelves around the Granada province, the bodega’s Marques de Abuxarra has long been a favourite for many.
Sadly though, this budget option is being phased out for the more expensive – yet higher quality – Marques de la Contraviesa line.
This classier cousin favours the champion Cabernet Sauvignon grape over the brash but fruity Abuxarra.
And in the XIII Wine Competition of Córdoba in November, Cuatro Vientos consolidated its position as – perhaps – the premier wine producer of La Alpujarra.
This annual contest saw bodega owner Juan José Castillo (pictured) and oenologist Francisco Mollina walk away with the prestigious Mezquita de Plata award for the 2006 Marques de la Contraviesa and 2005 tierra añada reds.