& COOKING ARTICLE
Wine . . . a hidden bodega in the Andalucian hills
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.
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.
Copyright 2008 Orce Serrano Hams - www.orceserranohams.com
11 April 2008
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