Andalusia has an age-old tradition of vine cultivation and winemaking, producing wines that have enjoyed great prestige and fame throughout the world.
The topographical, geological and climate features of Andalusian soils are excellent for vine cultivation. The Mediterranean climate and different microclimates, the mild average temperatures (16ºC), the scarcity of frosts and hail, the numerous hours of sunshine per year, a strong altitudinal contrast and the growing system create wines of high quality, with a great variety and unique characteristics at the same time.
This trend towards a prestigious production has continued to this day. More than 70% of the Andalusian vineyards are covered by one of the six Denominations of Origin established and sponsored by their respective Regulatory Councils: Condado de Huelva (1933), Jerez-Xérès-Sherry (1933), Manzanilla de Sanlúcar (1964), Málaga (1933), Sierras de Málaga (2001) and Montilla-Moriles (1985).
In addition to these denominations, there are 16 Protected Geographical Indications (Vinos de la tierra) and other historical wines which are not protected but enjoy great popularity, such as Tintilla de Rota, Pajarete and Moscatel de Chipiona, Mosto del Aljarafe…. All these wines are at the basis of a whole wine culture that includes wineries, specialized museums, and traditional festivals among others.
The activity in the vineyard increases in late August and early September. At the time that the harvest begins, the workforce is multiplied to collect the grape at its exact point of ripening. Then, it is harvested from very early until noon because the fruit must enter fresh in the winepress, where the work continues. The harvested grape must be crushed within one hour to prevent the proliferation of bacteria. Thus, wineries will welcome new wine for ageing.