by Brian McDonnell
Andalusia is home to many things, Beaches, Castles, Towers, Mountains and Caves.
It is also a place for Swimming, Water sports. Sailing, Fishing, Mountain climbing, Hiking… the list is endless… But now Anadalucia is becoming even more famous for an ancient industry that is having a revival.
Wines of Ronda and the beautiful surrounding areas, are being credited worldwide as some of the best available in today’s market. Awards are flowing into the region and in turn, feeding the industry to grow to even greater levels.
Of the many bodegas in the region, “Descalzos Viejos” offers more to the visitor than just a tour of a winery. Overlooking unbelievable it is views is nestled in between no less than three natural parks. One feels like a giant as you survey the vineyards as they spread out in front of you, thousands of feet below.
Formerly a Monastery, the vinery was a deserted shell until it’s present owners began to bring it back to life.
The building and winery known today as Descalzos Viejos dates back to the sixteenth century when it was built as a Trinitarian monastery. Bought by 2 families, the Retameros and Salesiss back in 1998, they began restoring it from the ruin it was to the glorious building, and business, you see today.
Frescos were uncovered and restored, ponds and gardens unearthed, ancient farming tools along with hundreds of artifacts from times past.
Today the chapel is home to the giant vats of future wines, almost looking as they are blessed by the saintly frescos on the walls above. With both the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean close by, and gifted with a wide variety of climates The Serranía de Ronda has taken advantage of this since Roman Times. Ruins dated to the Roman era can still be seen in the area. Working patterns changed and wine making lost its popularity to other crops, however in the last 20 years or so, a new interest has emerged and the results from many of the local wineries are wining worldwide acclaim. Producing Reds, Whites and Rose wines, the Reds are leading the field in popularity. But of course, you really need to choose for yourself.
“Descalzos Viejos” translates to ‘barefooted elders’, a homage to the winemakers of old, and the growing area covers 10 hectares of vineyards. Unique temperatures, conditions and soils create a wide and varied range of grapes and in turn, wines.
As a working bodega, they concentrate on, naturally, producing wines, but are more than happy to provide tours and explanations regarding their wonderful wines.
Costa FunTours regularly bring visitors to the Ronda area and including time to see the wine production is always possible with prior arrangement.
Talk to us at www.Costafuntours.com to arrange your private guided visit or watch our website and Facebook page for group trips and tastings.
In the meantime, you can always check out a little more about the wines currently produced by Descalzos Viejos….
DV – Ayouthful wine from a combination of Garnacha, Syrah and Merlot
DV+ – A bodega classic, combining Graciano, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot
DV Conarte – A collector’s Petit Verdot, with a label portrait by Ronda photographer Carlos Aires
DV Minima – An enological curiosity, a sweet wine of Botrytris produced by chance
DV Chardonnay – Descalzos Viejo’s house Chardonnay
For a Ronda private winery tour at “Descalzos Viejos” call +34 648 088 100 or request a quote to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Unlike many wineries, Descalzos Viejos has no opening hours or set tours, everything is done on demand and privately. They receive individuals, couples and groups of up to 30 people, or more on special request, and visitors are guided by the owners and the sommelier in English or in Spanish.