Wines from Malaga: The wines from Malaga Mountains are becoming more popular with each passing day
The traditional sweet Malaga wines, which the Arabs called “charab al malaquí” (syrup of Malaga) and for which the province was famous before the explosive growth of tourism. The sweet Malaga wines were exported to the Vatican and delighted the Czars of Imperial Russia.
Five years ago “Malaga Virgen”, one of the best-known wine firms in the province of Malaga, introduced to the market four new products that are far different from the classic sweet Malaga wines. These include red and rosé wines and even vinegars, presented with a designer line of very high quality vintages and bottles made to the match the taste of the gourmet.
As in the case of the firm referred to previously, most Malaga wineries these days have introduced new products or are on the verge of doing so, a clear demonstration of the dynamic nature of the wine-producing industry in Malaga. According to the Regulatory Council, the production from the last season came to about 1,890,000 litres, most bearing the Malaga Appellation of Origin. The number of wine cellars continues to grow and a number of them also serve as tourist attractions. Thirty-two have already been registered with the aforementioned Regulatory Council with the Malaga and Sierras de Malaga Appellations of Origin.
Some of the figures speak for themselves. During the 2007-2008 season grape production rose to 6,075,643 kilos, and it is predicted to reach 6.5 million kilos for the 2008-2009 season. Likewise, wine production is expected to be about two million litres, all references being to listed wines.
There are six wine producing regions in Malaga: La Axarquía, in the Eastern Costa del Sol; Montes, the mountain chain that encircles the capital; Norte (North), the more level area in the Antequera area; Costa Occidental (Western Coast) on the border of the province of Cádiz, and Serranía, in the Ronda area.
One of the keys to unleashing this innovative fervour was the renovation of the Regulatory Council itself. In 2000 it began to regulate the Sierras de Malaga appellation of origin so as to also include white, rosé and red wines. This decision opened a whole new world of options for firms that until then had been limited to marketing under the Malaga appellation, which only admits sweet wines. The results of this decision were immediately obvious, not just in the launching of new products but also in the appearance of new wineries, which increased from the nine of 1999 to the 32 previously referred to.
The Sierras de Malaga Appellation of Origin has led to the birth and consolidation of numerous wineries in the province, especially in the Ronda region, and today Malaga wines, particularly red wines and some sweet wines prepared by modern techniques, are to be found in the best international restaurants.
The implementation of Malaga ConArte has been an unusual initiative. This is a project done at the urging of the Chamber of Commerce and the Regulatory Council that unites ten wineries and ten Malaga painters in promoting an exclusive collection made up of ten wines from the province. For this purpose each painter, upon being assigned a wine, has set down on canvas the image inspired by it, and this forms part of the image of one of the winery’s vintages. This collection also pays homage to the Regulatory Council of the Wines of Malaga, the oldest in Spain and which this year turns seventy-five years of age.