By @Valentín Brillanceau
Ronda is a special destination for wine. If you´re travelling around Andalucia, you have to try the best Ronda wines, known as some of the best in the area! I’m going to let you in on the best bodegas, which offer a combination of both local wine and wine from overseas. Furthermore, many of the bodegas listed here make their wine using biodynamic and permaculture principles, two key techniques in organic wine production.
If you’re interested in alternative agriculture and natural wine, have a read of this article for an introduction to the best Ronda wines. I’m going to tell you about six organic bodegas in Ronda that we consider to be the best in Ronda. I’m sure it’s going to leave you wanting to visit them all!
1) BODEGAS F.SCHATZ
Friedrich Schatz is an ecological bodega established in 1982. They are a winegrower and an avid defender of biodinamic farming in Ronda. Schatz means treasure in German. It also forms the name of the six natural wines the bodega makes: Finca Sanguijuela (Tempranillo, Syrah, Merlot y Cabernet Sauvignon), and the five single origin wines: Rosado (Muskattrollinger), Chardonnay, Petit Verdot, Pinot Noir y Acinipo (Lemberger). All of the wines are produced without added sulphites, only those naturally occurring in the alcoholic fermentation process from working with wild, home⎼grown yeast strains.
They look pretty good right? They all originate from the Ronda province, which gives the grape characteristics which are reflected in the flavour of the wines. F. Schatz was a pioneer in the revival of the wine-producing tradition of Ronda. Here you can enjoy a perfect spot to observe the cultivation of wine.
2) BODEGA KIENINGER
Martin Kieninger, a winemaker and architect of Austrian heritage, has lived in Ronda since 1998. His project started in 2000 with the planting of 4000 different Austrian vine varieties in the foothills of the Sierra de las Cumbres in Ronda. These new vine varieties (Blaufraenkisch, Zweigelt), not usually found in this area, breathe new life into the Serranía de Ronda. They also use native varieties, such as Tintilla de Rota y la Garnacha Tinta, as well as the great French varieties Cabernets, Sauvignon y Franc, Merlot y Pinot Noir.
All of the vineyard is sustained by the various insects and micro-organisms that create a natural balance in the environment, which helps to prevent the spread of pests and diseases.
3) BODEGAS SAMSARA
Samsara is a winery situated in Ronda, founded by two young professionals in the industry. It’s one of the best bodegas in Ronda because they work with both Spanish and French varieties, which are cultivated according to organic and natural criteria. They use the following types of grape: Petit Verdot, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Garnacha, Tempranillo, Mollar Negro, Uva Rey, Tintilla de Rota etc.
The bodega works under the concept of biodynamic agriculture and permaculture. To sum up, the bodega has a natural cycle which makes them unique. As they say in French and as experts in wine: ‘instead of fighting evil with evil, fight good with good’ which refers to the techniques used with natural micro-organisms which take wines from the vine to the bottle.
Here at Entrelenguas, we suggest you visit the vineyard and learn about the permaculture and biodynamic agriculture they use here, and of course try the wines. We organise wine tastings in Ronda into an organic vineyard so you can enjoy a culinary experience along with the pairing of the wines that this bodega offers.
4) BODEGA LA MELONERA
La Melonera is the project of Ana de Castro Rufián and Jorge Viladomiu Peitx. Not only are they pesticide and chemical free, the seeds used are extracted from the fruit from the ground they are planted in, thereby ensuring the purity of the entire process. The bodega is located in a beautiful meadow of hundred-year-old oak trees in the Serranía de Ronda, 2 kilometres from Acinipo, the ancient Roman city.
This bodega in Ronda was born from the objective of restoring varieties of local grapes which had almost disappeared due to the filoxera epidemic (1878-1926). The geographic characteristics and the thermic activity where it is located make it perfect for the cultivation of the grapes. Here you can find the Tintilla, Blasco, Roma y Melonera varieties.
Innovation in wine culture forms a huge part of the identity for this wine business. Moreover, they have designed new systems compatible with organic farming. Ultimately, La Melonera strives for excellence throughout the entire development process of their wines.
5) DESCALZOS VIEJOS
Descalzos Viejos, located in an old Trinitarian convent which dates back to the 16th century, provides some of the best Ronda wines. Descalzos Viejos was founded with the restoration of the convent chapel of S. Trinidad XVI, where you will find the processing areas and barrel room. The contrasting walls of the ‘church’ with tanks and barrels contribute to a special ambience.
The bodega owns 6 hectares of cultivated vineyards, for their own variety of red grapes (Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Grenache, Merlot y Petit Verdot) located under the Corniche de Tajo de Ronda (at an altitude of 650m) and 1 hectare to produce white wine (Chardonnay). The restoration work started in 2001 and they managed to recover mementos of the shrine, which previously formed a major part of the living room. Also, the inside of the compound is complemented with the convent of the garden terraces.
In 2007, the winery was awarded an Honourable Mention at the Architecture of Malaga awards for its restoration work, as well as receiving the prize for M-Capital special recognition at the VIII Mediterranean Culture Awards in 2007.
6) BODEGA JOAQUÍN FERNÁNDEZ
Bodega Joaquín Fernández is an organic wine bodega located in the Los Frutales area, the perfect place for a native from Cordoba who dreamed of being a winemaker. Four types of grape are grown: Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon y Garnacha. With these they make red, white and rosé wines.
Moreover, the white wines at this bodega are very special. They are made using red grapes. This peculiar wine is of French origin, that you cannot find in other vineyards in the Serranía of Ronda. Since it is fruitier than traditional white wine, it has notes of red wine. It is a bit like drinking red wine with a white colour. This wine could be a good way to surprise your friends, don’t you think?
Ronda is becoming more and more known for its wines and its wine-related experiences; there’s no doubt that each harvest brings new surprises and improvements that will leave you speechless. What do you think? Which best Ronda wines are your favorites?