May 2019 I was invited to follow the creation of a new vineyard in south-eastern Spain, located halfway between Valencia and Alicante, in Guadalest (place called «Mona»).
The site :
Guadalest is 20 kilometres from the Mediterranean Sea. Guadalest may not be speaking to you ? And yet approximately 2 million tourists come there every year, to admire among other things its castle, El castle de Guadalest, classified in the most beautiful towns of Spain. We are at 20-minute drive from Benidorm, a famous seaside resort on the Costa Blanca.
The climate is temperate to warm with an average annual temperature of 16°C and an annual rainfall of 526mm (source: Climate data.org). We are on hillsides with an altitude of up to 700 meters .
But pictures are better than a long speech for showing you the beauty of the site !
The project :
The project is due to the Vidal family*. 5 brothers: Javier, Pépé, Emilio, Juanfer and Sergio. Sergio Vidal is the creator of the famous Delphin Tower of Benidorm. As wine lovers, the project to create a vineyard was imagined.
For that reason, a team of consultants from Bordeaux was enrolled: Oenoconseil (with Antoine Médeville and Emilien Delalande). A long preparation phase followed in order to plant: Where, what, how, why, and when?
The aim of this project is to promote Spanish cultural heritage and gastronomy. Five star tourist complex is also planned with restaurant, bar at the bottom of the valley with an amazing view on a beautiful blue lagoon water, and rooms located in different places of the property (which is 100 hectares for the moment). This is a very ambitious project that promises to be magnificent !
* The spanish Vidal family is not linked with the producer from Côtes du Rhône named Vidal-Fleury.
The planting of the vines was carried out by machine following previously established GPS points. The first step of the project is based on 5.5 hectares of hillside vines that require considerable work: the planting of the vines follows the winding layout of the hillsides!
Between 25 and 30 hectares will be planted with the possibility of doubling it.
The grapes :
The first step of planting was carried out during my visit with well-known grape varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot , Syrah, Chardonnay, Petit Verdot, Alicante and Monastrelle (Mourvèdre). Other grape varieties will be added: Tempranillo, White and Red Grenache. Some rarer grape varieties are planned … business to follow!
The inauguration :
Beautiful weather and a great atmosphere. A very nice inauguration! Many local personalities ,and to illustrate the richness of Spanish culinary heritage, who better than the world ambassador of Iberian Ham? Florencio Sanchidrian !
Unfortunately, I had to leave before the end of the event with regrets. In two days I had adapted quite well myself to the Spanish life and I almost felt to be part of the family !
The wine :
The goal is to produce a high quality wine. This requires a lot of money and, of course, a lot of time: the first harvest will take place in three years. For sure we need to be patient but I can already give you what I will feel when I taste this wine :
During the tasting of this wine I will find this magnificent view, feeling this climate, warm and sunny, with a steady breeze. An enjoyable wine, made to give you the feeling to drink and share it, and that will perfectly fit with an Iberian ham sliced by Florencio! In this wine I will meet the smile of all the people who have so kindly welcomed me !
Thank you !
Oenoconseil, Antoine Médéville, Emilien Delalande; the Vidal family: Carol and Sergio, Florencia and Javier, Maite and Emilio, Pépé; Miriam Atienza, Florencio Sanchidrian (tenemos la Misma sensabilidad en Nuestros pasiones) Sofia Alonso and Toni Serrano de Casesnoves ( great people who hold a gite and I highly recommend you: Casesnoves link here and all the other people I could meet during this stay!
To follow the news of this new vineyard, here is the link of the official website : Masos.es
Ps: Note that there is a direct line between Bordeaux and Alicante by plane. ¡Viva España!
Ps bis: This text is also translated in Spanish on the French version/ Thanks to José Ignacio Sánchez for the corrections !