By Euro Weekly News Media • 04 October 2011 • 8:39
LIKE many of us I enjoy the odd glass of wine and generally buy mine from the local supermarket.
I usually drink Spanish wine and so was amazed to discover that literally down the road is a bodega!
Located in Alfaz del Pi, only a 10 minute drive from Benidorm you will come upon the ‘Enrique Mendoza Winery’.
It is a family run bodega steeped in tradition – in Spain on the birth of a son it was a tradition to plant vines … Enrique had three sons and so the beginnings of his bodega took hold back in 1970’s.
You can book a tour where you will be taken around the entire plant by Magda, niece of Enrique. She is extremely knowledgeable and passionate about wine and will amaze you with facts and figures. For example, I was staggered that a good quality cork can cost up to €1.50…in Lidl you can but a bottle for less than that but its all to do with quality.
Unlike many bodega’s they do not buy in any grapes but only use the ones they have grown themselves and of those they only use the best. From the grapes grown in Alfaz they produce mainly Moscatel and they have another vineyard in Villena from which they produce their reds.
As we were there a fresh delivery was being decanted into the barrels ready for maturing. They have strict guidelines as to how long the wine has to lay for from the provincial government. They produce approximately 300,000 bottles per year and export to many countries. ‘Santa Rosa Red’ is listed as one of the top 10 wines of Spain – and it’s produced here on our doorstep.
They do not use ANY pesticides on the vines but instead use traps and homeopathic methods such as cinnamon instead of sulphur and work a lot with biodynamic techniques – I was stumped on that one too but Magda explained how they work with the moon.
All the vine plots are fitted with sensors for moisture, humidity and stress levels of the plants and are controlled centrally by computer. We were taken around the cellars and bottling plant and learnt about the woods used for the barrels. Did you know that once the barrels are 5 years old they send them off to Scotland for maturing whiskey!
After the tour comes the best bit – the tasting…. we were treated to 6 – including the award winning Santa Rosa and an incredible dessert wine – which was red!
I was totally shocked as always knew dessert wine to be like Moscatel … rather sweet but this one really fruity rather than sweet. Therewere also plates of tapas comprising of Manchego cheese and salamis and obviously some delicious chocolate to go with the dessert wine.
The tour costs € 20 and lasts just over 1.5 hrs but you each receive a bottle of delicious red wine as a gift. You can also purchase any wines tasted in the shop at the end of the tour.
If you are visiting Benidorm its a nice outing to get away from the beach for a couple of hours or make a great gift for a wine drinker!
For more information contact Magda on 965 888 639 or email [email protected]
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