|Wines from Huelva
Columbus set forth for his historical voyage from the port of Palos, in the western Andalusian province of Huelva. The navigator took with him his dreams of discovery. His crew, who came from Palos and neighbouring Moguer, took more practical things, such as dried tuna, legumes and, of course, a good supply of Huelva wine. Thus, Huelva's wines were the first Spanish wines to be exported to America (assuming, of course, that the sailors didn't drink it all along the way).
Huelva's wines are made with the Zalema, the indigenous white grape of the region. Traditionally it is used to make an amber-coloured oloroso-style fortified wine, Condado Viejo, an earthy, nutty, mouthfilling wine which goes well with the famous hams of the Huelva sierras. But living in the shadow of Jerez, this wine region seemed forever condemned to play second fiddle to its mighty neighbour. Many wineries went out of business, and those growers with good land switched to strawberries, now the major cash crop in the region.
Today, thanks to modern wine making technology, Huelva's wine trade is making a comeback, as wineries have started to produce unaged table whites from the Zalema grape. Well chilled, these wines - fresh, light, although a bit thin and not particularly flavourful - go very well with the local seafood. The best known brands are Castillo de Andrade (Bodegas Andrade) and Viña Odiel (Sovicosa).
There is even one winery, the Cooperativa Nuestra Señora del Rocío in Almonte, which have taken the concept one step further. They connected a series of large undeground fermenting vats to form a subterranean cellar, where they make Andalusia's only sparking wine, Raigal.
The Condado de Huelva wine region is situated in the province of Huelva and covers an area of over 5,000 hectares and 40 bodegas which produce 28 millon liter of wine annually.
The Condado de Huelva wine region is situated in the south east province of Huelva on the Atlantic coast between the river Guadiamar and the river Ría del Tinto. It covers an area of over 5,000 hectares and 40 bodegas which produce 28 million litres of wine annually.
The 14 municipalities that make up the area are; Almonte, Beas, Bollullos Par del Condado, Bonares, Chucena, Hinojos, La Palma del Condado, Manzanilla, Moguer, Niebla, Rociana del Condado, Villalba del Alcor, Villarrasa y Trigueros.
The make up of the undulating Sandy terrain whose soil is not too limestone together with the mediterranean climate with the atlantic influence, with mild winters and and long summers.
The most popular used grape is a Blanca Zalema, and also the Palomino, Listán, Garrido Fino y Moscatel. There are no red wine varieties.
The wines of Condado are also called the vinos del Descubrimiento (wines of discovery), because they were the first vines to be taken to the new world in 1502.
The types of wines produced in the Condado de Huelva are:
- Condado de Huelva
- Condado de Huelva Joven
- Condado Pálido - dry "fino" style (Palomino)
- Condado Viejo - dry "oloroso" style (Palomino)
- Fresh Zalema - whites & sparkling wines
The controller of wine in the Condado de Huelva wine region is:
Consejo Regulador de la D.O. CONDADO DE HUELVA
Avda. 28 de febrero, 153
21710 - BOLLULLOS PAR DEL CONDADO (Huelva)