by Saskia Mier
Moriles is a particularly interesting place for those keen on sampling Spain's rural wine culture. Visit in the last week of September for the Fiesta de la Cata Anual del Vino. It has around 3700 inhabitants.
Moriles was born as an independent town in the twentieth century by the Royal Decree of June 1, 1912 signed by King Alfonso XIII. It was previously a constituent village of Aguilar de la Frontera, called Zapateros, made up of thirteen lagares (wineries; where the first grape pressing took place) and some small cottages.
In 1908, José Fernández Jiménez, a native of Zuheros and Conservative Deputy for the District of Montilla, initiated procedures to convert Zapateros into what is now Moriles. Two years later, he presented the project to the Congress of Deputies, concluding the approval and signature of S.M.D. Alfonso XIII.On June 1, 1912, an act was passed which turned the village into an independent municipality with the new name of Moriles.
The formal delineations of the small municipality were not defined until 1951, when a ruling by the Supreme Court established a boundary around the edge of the town as it then stood. At present, Moriles stands out for its famous vineyards, whose excellent wines receive the prestigious Montilla-Moriles denomination of origin.
THINGS TO SEE
Parroquia de San Jerónimo
This Neoclassical chapel was built in 1818, on the site of a former ruin. In 1974 it was opened to worshipers, with the Duke of Medinaceli as the Patron. In 1914, a series of works were urgently required to protect the building from humidity, as well as to transform the façade of the church, completely repair the roof and build a rectory and office. One of the most important reforms carried out on the church took place in 1954 and consisted of a new bell tower, further repairs to the roof and the renovation of the flooring. The church stands in its current state on Avenida de Andalucía.
Museo del Mosto
The Mosto de Moriles Museum offers visitors an exhibition on the Mosto production process (raw grape pressing), travelling through time and explaining traditional methods used many years before industrial machinery. It is worth noting that today, you will still see many people using these traditional methods inherited from past generations. The museum is located on Calle Veintiocho de Febrero.
Monday-Friday, 09:00-14:00hrs and 17:00-20:00hrs.
Tel: 957 53 77 83.
Moriles is home to several wineries which are happy to open their doors to visitors at any time. You may find that some of the wineries will offer a tour together with a tasting at the end and the opportunity to buy their products. The best wineries are Bodega Lagar de Casablanca, Bodega La Casilla, Bodega Sánchez Real, Bodega A. Doblas Martos S.L, Bodega Lagar de los Naranjos, Bodega Sanchez Real, Bodega San Pablo, Bodega Lagar el Monte, Bodega Los Gabrieles, Cooperativa Vitivinicula N.S Rosario and Bodega Lagar Santiago.
THINGS TO SEE OUTSIDE THE VILLAGE
Centro de Interpretación Lagar de Vida
The Educational Centre of Lagar de Vida gives an interpretation of the relationship between wine and Moriles. Through virtual learning set ups, visitors can see, in real time, the processes associated with eight appellations of origin from around the world. Located on Carretera Moriles-Aguilar, km1 (A-3132).
Laguna del Rincón
The Laguna del Rincón Natural Reserve is part of a wetland complex, along with the permanent lagoons of Zóñar and Amarga, and the seasonal ones of Los Jarales, Tíscar and Salobral. All these water sites have been protected for their importance in the wintering and nesting of waterfowl.
Traditional crafts still produced in Moriles are ceramics, bronze work and jewelry.
When visiting Moriles, try some of their local dishes such as flamencas (rolls of meat filled with cheese and prawn), flamenquines (rolls of meat filled with cheese and ham), sopa de gato (soup made with bread, garlic, onion and tomato, served with sweet grapes), salmorejo, patatas con garbanzos y bacalao (potato with chickpeas and cod), picaíllo de tomate (tomato salad), naranja picá (cod and orange), revuelto de habas (broad bean omlette) and albondigas (meatballs). Sweet treats include arropa (mosto boiled down to create syrup), tortillas de manteca (lard cakes), roscos de vino (aniseed biscuits), pestiños (sweet pastries) and milindres (madeleines).
Cabalgata Reyes Magos
Three Kings procession celebrated on the evening of 5 January.
Celebrated the 2 February.
Celebrated in February.
Día de Andalucía
Celebrated the 28 February.
Holy Week (dates vary each year).
Romería en Honor a San Antonio
Celebrated the 10 June.
Feria del Tomate
Celebrated the 16 July.
Celebrated the 7 October.
Fiesta de la Cata Anual del Vino
Celebrated the last week of September.
Celebrated the weekend closest to the 28 August.
Fiesta del Vino Nuevo
Celebrated the 30 November.