However, relatively recently wineries in the province of Málaga have begun producing dry white wines from the Muscat grapes. Traditionally, these grapes were used to make sweet wines, as well as dried to produce fine raisins, delicacies exported to other parts of the world. This dry white wine is called ‘afrutado,’ fruity, to distinguish it from vino blanco seco, which is really a fino or Montillo type of sherry.
Some regions of Málaga also produce red wines on a more limited scale, from Tempranillo, a very typical Spanish red varietal, but also from Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, and, to an even lesser degree, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Pinor Noir.
There are four regions in Málaga which produce wine with two Apellations: Denominación de Málaga, mostly sweet wines, and Denominación de Sierras de Málaga producing dry whites as well as reds. The four regions vary, each having its own attributes.
La Axarquía - is the valley just east of the capital, Málaga. This is where laCultura and our pueblo, Cútar, is located, a traditional Muscat producing area with a long history of wine and raisins. Here there are 4 wineries which produce sweet wines but also Muscat fruity, dry white wines. Many families produce wine, but the 4 wineries which hold the two appellations are: Bodegas Dimobe in Moclinejo producing sweet wines, a dry fruity Muscat and a dry red Syrah; Bodegas Jorge Ordonez in Almáchar and Vélez-Málaga, the capital of La Axarquia, produce sweet and dry whites, mostly for high priced export; Bodegas Almijaras in Cómpeta produce very nice Muscat sweet and dry wines; and Bodegas Bentomiz in Sayalonga. The first two wineries are very close to Cútar. The other two are on the opposite, east side, of the valley, but also close.
Montes Area – is the area just north of the city of Málaga bordering La Axarquía. The five wineries that carry the appellation Málaga produce sweet wines: Bodega Antigua Casa de la Guardia is just north-east of Málaga, a few kilometers from Cútar located just outside the village of Olías. They also have an old wine pub in the old town of Málaga. Bodegas Quitapenas is located in the city of Málaga, also with a wine restaurant in the old town, serving wine, fish and shellfish, very pleasant. The other 3 wineries are located just east of the city of Málaga in the Guadalhorce river valley: Bodegas Gomara located in Campanillas, Bodegas Pérez Hildalgo in Álora, and Bodegas Sanchez Rosado in Cártama.
Northern Area – is situated north of the city of Málaga and the coastal mountains of Torcal near Antequera in the southern plains of the Guadalquivir valley, the great river of Andalucía. Here there is the large cooperative, Tierras de Mollina, producing both wine and olive oil. They produce sweet wines, dry fruity whites, but also some reds made from local Syrah grapes. Cortijo la Fuente, also in Mollina, is a family owned winery producing very nice sweet wines, a dry fruity Muscat and an unreleased 2008 blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, a full-bodied wine with fruit and spice. Bodegas Málaga Virgen in Fuente de Piedra just north of Mollina produce well known sweet wines, but also a dry fruity Pedro Ximenez white and a Syrah rose. Bodegas and Vineyard de la Capuchina I will review soon. It seems promising.
Mountains of Ronda – is the high valley area west of Málaga with several wineries, few of which existed 15 years ago. Many are run by non-Spaniards and produce expensive wines which I’ve gotten the impression might not be worth the price. This area I’ll expand on in a later article. For the time being enjoy Málaga, east and north.