Victor & me at the end of a spectacular day
saying goodbye to Málaga from the Parador Hotel Gibralfaro
First off I have to say that each of the three bodegas I visited in the Axarquía over two days were all completely different and totally wonderful experiences. First up, after a hearty pre-bodega breakfast at El Roper in El Palo, Victor and I made our way to the ridiculously pretty white village of Moclinejo, high up in the mountains. There we were greeted by Juan Muñoz Anaya and Vicente Inat, two winemakers who work together at Bodegas Dimobe, as well as working together on a separate project Viñedos Verticales. Dimobe was founded in 1927 by Juan’s grandfather and he now runs it with siblings Antonio and María Luísa. In 2015 Juan and Vicente founded Viñedos Verticales, a “sister winery” project which uses the same installation as Bodegas Dimobe in Moclinejo, and with different vine plots and grapes they are creating something that is both old and new.
Just to confuse you further, Vicente is also the winemaker at Bodegas Descalzos Viejos in Ronda, which I had visited a week earlier, and his wife Ana (who I got to meet later in the day after lunch) is the winemaker at another Ronda winery I visited, La Melonera. This was something I got used to over my two weeks of visiting Málaga wineries… that everyone not only knows each other, they sometimes work together and more often than not are very supportive of each others projects. It’s actually a lovely thing to see. Especially in Ronda the whole winemaking scene is quite new, starting sometimes in the 1980s, and everyone wants to see the region doing well. But I digress…
Back to Juan and Vicente (above). They met us in Moclinejo, where we had to leave Victor’s snazzy BMW behind and climb up into an open-topped 4WD jeep (AKA La Mula), with Vicente at the wheel. Then we were off! Vicente was keen to show us some of his favourite vineyards. In this region, similar to wineries in Galicia, most producers don’t grow all their own grapes. The plots here tend to be small and family owned, and the families like to keep them that way. Sometimes wineries will have their own plots too, but they rely on locals growers to provide the bulk of their grapes, and in most cases they work together with the producers, so it’s not simply a case of buying grapes “at the market”. The producers and winemakers work together year round to ensure quality.
That’s the Mediterranean Sea in the background. Slate slopes here run down to the sea at 60 – 70 degree angles, and everything must be tended to by hand. During the harvest they use mules and A LOT of human labour. It’s impressive to say the least.
Yay! Filitas y Lutitas 2017 dry white wine, lovely and chilled (miraculously produced from a cooler in the back of the jeep – surprise!) and served as we sat on the slate soil above the vineyards overlooking the Mediterranean. If this isn’t living then I don’t know what is. Also, yes, managed to get there on my dodgy sprained ankle with the help of my crutch and the strong arms and shoulders of three handsome men. 🙂
This is us in our jeep “mule” jostling along very narrow mountain roads… eep!
Juan next to the paseras where they dry the grapes in the sunshine, either to make raisins or to intensify the natural sweetness of the moscatel grapes. They face west to catch the evening sun.
one of the ten bodega cats at our mountain top cortijo – so pretty!
Enjoying Dimobe Tartratos sparkling brut made from Moscatel Alejandria grapes with three guapos. This was one of my favourite wines and enjoying it out in the fresh mountain air overlooking the vineyards was heaven. Afterwards we returned to Moclinejo to visit the winery and have a tasting before heading out for lunch in the village. A perfect day and an unforgettable experience.
Paquita, warrior mule
the Dimobe winery in Moclinejo
Vicente gets ready to venenciar
huge effing barrels!
Juan with his ancestors
outstanding lunch at Restaurante Reyes in Moclinejo
Ana, Juan, me, Miquel (owner of Restaurante Reyes), Vicente, Victor
Winery visits are available in Spanish and English upon request.
San Bartolomé, 5
Tel +34 952 40 05 94