Welcome to València
Discover this amazing wine-making region which has been undervalued particularly given the quality and unique contributions of its best winemakers.
Wednesday 08 December 2021
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Valencia’s history as a wine-making region stretches back millennia, to the Phoenicians between 4000 and 3000 BC, through to the second century BC, when its wines were prized across the Roman empire. Strange, then, that today Valencia does not enjoy a much higher international reputation, particularly given the quality and unique contributions of its best winemakers.
Part of this under-valuation surely stems from the sweeping generalisations we’ve probably all made about the region. Valencia, sun-baked and kissed by the Mediterranean air, is where one goes to eat paella and eat burstingly ripe oranges, but is surely far too hot and sunny to make wine of any real quality.
Yet such generalisations are unhelpful in such a varied DO, where mountains, valleys and plains interact with the sea winds to create microclimates with the potential to nurture a wide range of varietals, autochthonous and imported (see Levant indigenous grapes).
The vineyards of Alto Turia, north of Valencia city, sit between 700m-1,200m above sea level, giving cool summers and positively chilly winters, perfect for white Macabeo grapes.
Lower down in Valentino, east of the River Turia, is an area historically known for its orange groves, though in recent years commercial factors have seen the land turned over to viniculture, primarily Macabeo and Merseguera, Garnacha, Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon. The spiritual home of wine in Valencia though are the sunny lowlands where the Moscatel grape is king, swept by warm, gentle Mediterranean breezes. This is where Valencia’s sweet, fortified wines originate, but is also home to some excellent Cavas and other sparkling wines.
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