Thursday, 13 October 2016

Vinos de la Tierra de Cádiz

For millennia the province of Cádiz has produced wine of high quality, but only Sherry has ever received a Denominación de Origen Protegida (DOP), the first in Spain. On the 29th April 2005 the Junta de Andalucía officially conceded the Indicación Geográfica Protegida (IGP) “Vinos de la Tierra de Cádiz” though it took till 2011 to be implemented because of all the EU bureaucracy. IGP is the European quality category just below DOP and it is hoped that Cádiz can soon be elevated to the top rung. The production zone includes the Sherry vineyards as well as Arcos, Setenil, Prado del Rey, Puerto Real, Rota, Trebujena, Olvera, Villamartín, Bornos and San José del Valle. Wines produced can be red, white and rosé, yet oddly sparkling wines are not covered. All wines must be bottled in the area. Cádiz is one of 16 IGPs in Andalucía with 18 affiliated bodegas.

Of the 22 authorised grape varieties, the whites include Palomino, Pedro Ximénez, Moscatel, Chardonnay, Macabeo, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Verdejo and thankfully some of those local varieties in danger of disappearing: Mantua, Garrido Fino and Perruno. The reds are Tempranillo, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Garnacha Tinta, Monastrell, Merlot, Tintilla de Rota, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, Mollar Cano and Graciano.

In its little more than ten years of existence the VT Cádiz has produced some seriously good wines, and according to the Association of the IGP Tierra de Cádiz - which will become a Consejo Regulador if the VT is promoted to DOP - is now turning over more than 60,000 hectolitres and 15 million euros annually. It currently works to rules laid down by the Junta de Andalucía.

The Association, whose president, Veronica Perez, qhality control director at Barbadillo, is keen to preserve and revive grape varieties which were nearly lost because of Phylloxera. They would also like to add Algodonales to the production zone and Gewürztraminer and Pinot Noir to the permitted varieties, but that means an application to Europe. Meanwhile they are working on an official website. If Sherry is included, the province of Cádiz is the largest producer of wine in the eight provinces of Andalucía with over 38% of production, and the largest exporter.

For details of the wines and producers see the post The Table Wines of Cádiz

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