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GALIRA WINE FOOD & COOKING ARTICLE

Galira Wine . . . a hidden bodega in the Andalucian hills
by Orce Serrano Hams

The picturesque village of Galera lies 12 kilometres west of Orce, also famous for its cave dwellings Galera truly is a typical white washed Andalucian pueblo. The centre of village around the town square is predominantly houses many of which are centuries old, some of these old houses hold a surprise beneath in the form of a bodega where wine has been produced over the generations. Sadly, most of these bodegas have been converted into living accommodation, there is however one that is still producing wine . . .

Run by Mercedes, Manolo and David their bodega is one of the last surviving working bodegas in the area. In April 2008 we thought it was time for a visit! The bodega itself consists of several cellar rooms, almost cave like with arched ceilings and high windows which are at street level. A mix of old and new some rooms almost resembling a museum with fully restored antique wine presses and enormous old fashioned ceramic wine tinajas (pronounced tin-ak-as), these large vase looking objects are where traditionally the wine was aged before the invention of oak barrels.

To realise how old the bodega is you simply have to see one tinaja which sits pride of place in the corner of the tasting room. It was normal to have designs and dates carved into the tinaja - in this case the date is an astonishingly old 1629.

Nowadays the wine is made following more modern methods using oak casks and a fully integrated system. However there is no getting away from the fact that this bodega carries a history . . . and some very palatable wines.

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After every good tour of a bodega comes the tasting! David skilfully pours two half glasses from the vat before going on to explain every aspect of the wine - when to drink it, how to drink it and what with, a true expert. The white came first, thoroughly chilled to perfection and a real treat for the summer, an aromatic rose followed and then the red - a young tinto with some nice depth and combinations.

As with many good European wines there are some fantastic hidden examples tucked away in mostly unheard of rural villages or regions not recognised for their wine production. This Galira wine is certainly one of them, a true rural taste of Andalucia. You won't find this wine in any supermarket or off licence. Production is small, specifically for locals and good eating establishments. That said, David, Mercedes and Manolo have just opened a shop above their bodega and the wine is gaining a reputation as one of the finest local wines in the region.

If you would like to discover this hidden delight for yourself visit our wine pages (www.orceserranohams.com/pages-shop/wines.htm) where you will find red, white and rose varieties.

www.orceserranohams.com

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© Copyright 2008 Orce Serrano Hams - www.orceserranohams.com

Published 11 April 2008

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